The Liberal Democrats has pressed the government to create an independent regulator to protect British food and farming standards.
The Ten Minute Bill, put forward by Tim Farron, MP for Cumbria and ex-leader of the party, seeks to ensure that food and agri imports meet UK standards.
The independent regulator would also have the power to force the government to meet its environmental and climate targets.
It comes as the government's own Office for Environmental Protection will be set up from July, which will provide an 'independent oversight' of the UK's environmental progress.
However, this body, to be set up on an interim basis, has been heavily criticised by MPs for 'failing to meet its own ambitions' while marking a 'significant regression' on current standards.
Speaking after Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday (28 April), Mr Farron said the Liberal Democrat's proposed regulator would have 'real teeth to hold the government to account.'
“For too long the Tories have treated our environment and agriculture with contempt and got away with it," he said.
Today in Parliament I introduced a bill that would create a new independent environmental regulator which would have the power to force the Government to meet its environmental and climate targets, and protect Britain's world class food and farming standards in future trade deals pic.twitter.com/q1GH60xw0m— Tim Farron (@timfarron) April 28, 2021
“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.”