Responding to reports that the Government is planning to grant tariff-free access to the UK to Australian farmers, Tim Farron MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, commented:
“So often Conservative ministers take to social media to say how much they love British farming but their proposed new trade deal with Australia shows that when push comes to shove they are perfectly happy to sell our farmers down the river.
“The NFU are clear that letting Australian farmers sell their produce tariff-free into the UK would spell a disaster for small British family farms.
“Australian animal welfare standards are lower than the UK’s which makes for lower production costs and cheaper produce. Therefore the only way that small British family farms could compete would be to lower their own standards – which nobody except the Government wants them to do.
“To go ahead with this trade deal on these terms would be a betrayal of Britain’s farmers who are so vital in feeding us and protecting our environment.
“Liberal Democrats will always stand up for British farmers, and fight to protect Britain’s high quality animal welfare and environmental standards.”