A Cumbrian MP will press the Government to create an independent regulator to protect the UK’s food, farming and environmental standards today.
Tim Farron, who represents Westmorland and Lonsdale, will put forward a Ten Minute Rule Bill after Prime Minister’s Questions.
He wants the Government to create the regulator, which would be able to ensure that imports meet UK standards for animal welfare and environmental protections – preventing products like chlorinated chicken or hormone treated beef being able to flood the British market.
It would also have new powers to ensure that the Government and public authorities comply with their environmental and climate targets, by issuing sanctions for those that fail to meet them.
The Government had promised to create a new environmental regulator, replacing the role the European Commission played before Brexit.
However, the proposed Office of Environmental Protection has been criticised for lacking meaningful enforcement powers.
The Environment Bill that will create the office has been delayed several times since it was first introduced in 2018, and is now not expected to return to Parliament until after the Queen’s Speech.
Mr Farron’s bill is backed by all Liberal Democrat MPs and Alliance MP Stephen Farry.
Mr Farron said: “For too long the Tories have treated our environment and agriculture with contempt and got away with it – they must be regulated by an independent body with real teeth to hold the government to account.
“Farmers produce the food we eat, protect our beautiful landscape, and are vital allies in the battle against the climate and nature crises, yet this government is leaving them in the lurch.
“My bill’s regulator would ensure that environmental protections and animal welfare standards cannot be undermined – protecting British farmers so they can support work to enhance our natural environment and cut emissions.
“This will end the uncertainty caused by this Tory government which has left family farmers fearing for their livelihoods.”