Agriculture Bill — After Clause 42 — Duty to Seek Equivalence on Agri-Food Standards in Relation to Future Trade — 4 Nov 2020 at 17:15
The majority of MPs voted not to make requiring agricultural and food imports to meet standards equivalent to domestic standards in areas including food safety, the environment and animal health, an objective when negotiating international trade agreements.
MPs were considering the Agriculture Bill.
The motion supported by the majority of MPs in this vote was:
- That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 16B.
Lords amendment 16B began:
- Insert the following new Clause—
- “Duty to seek equivalence on agri-food standards in relation to future trade
- (1) When negotiating any international trade agreement containing provisions relating to the importation of agri-food products into the United Kingdom, it shall be a negotiating objective for Her Majesty’s Government to secure terms that provide for equivalence with standards applicable to domestic producers in the areas of—
- (a) animal health and welfare,
- (b) protection of the environment,
- (c) food safety, hygiene and traceability, and
- (d) plant health.
- (2) Before an international trade agreement can be laid before Parliament under section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (“the 2010 Act”), a Minister of the Crown must lay before both Houses of Parliament a statement confirming—
- (a) that Her Majesty’s Government has, in the Minister’s opinion, fulfilled the requirement under subsection (1),
- (b) whether equivalence with domestic standards has been achieved, (c) any exemptions provided for individual products, and
- (d) in relation to subparagraphs (b) and (c), the Minister’s reasons for this being the case.
- (3) Subsections (1) and (2) shall not apply if— (a) the international trade agreement is a continuation or revision of an agreement to which the United Kingdom was a party prior to IP completion day, whether as a direct signatory or by virtue of membership of the European Union, or
- (b) the international trade agreement is with one or more least developed countries and, in the Secretary of State’s opinion, seeking equivalence on standards would present an unfair impediment to trade for the country or countries.
- (4) In addition to the requirements under the 2010 Act, chapters of a relevant international trade agreement may not be ratified unless the conditions in subsections (5) and (6) have been met.
- (5) The condition in this subsection is that the chapters have been approved by a resolution of the House of Commons on a motion moved by a Minister of the Crown.
- (6) The condition in this subsection is that a motion for the House of Lords to take note of the chapters has been tabled in the House of Lords by a Minister of the Crown and—
- (a) the House of Lords has debated the motion, or
- (b) the House of Lords has not concluded a debate on the motion before the end of the period of five Lords sitting days beginning with the first Lords sitting day after the day on which the House of Commons passes the resolution mentioned in subsection (5).
The proposed new clause continued with a subsection on interpretation.
-  Parliament's webapage on the Agriculture Bill, Parliament.uk website
-  Lords amendments to the Agriculture Bill, 16 October 2020, Parliament.uk website
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||330 (+2 tell)||6||0||92.9%|
|Lab||0||185 (+2 tell)||0||93.5%|
|Tracey Crouch||Chatham and Aylesford||Con||no|
|George Freeman||Mid Norfolk||Con||no|
|Roger Gale||North Thanet||Con (front bench)||no|
|Simon Hoare||North Dorset||Con (front bench)||no|
|Neil Hudson||Penrith and The Border||Con (front bench)||no|
|Jason McCartney||Colne Valley||Con||no|