NSA urges ministers to back Trade and Agriculture Commission

NSA urges ministers to back Trade and Agriculture Commission

The National Sheep Association (NSA) has called on the government to ensure the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) is in place in time to properly scrutinise the UK/Australia trade deal.

Phil Stocker, chief executive, NSA.

The initial fixed-term TAC delivered its report in March 2021 and one of the five key recommendations it made was for the UK government to develop effective approaches to scrutiny and analysis of FTAs. The commission also stressed the need to balance opportunities with not undermining the UK’s world leading environmental and animal welfare standards.

NSA said that trust in British food “must not be undermined by the government and policymakers in reaching trade deals and net zero obligations.”

The Association said that it was fundamental for the UK government to show consistency in its approach to managing climate change, food security, agricultural sustainability and international trade negotiations.

NSA added: “It is important for the British public’s confidence to be preserved and, as new policies and support systems are introduced, ensure farmers are not left to make a choice determined by financial solidity versus maintaining high standards.”

“It can never be too late”

Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, said: “This is why the Trade and Agriculture Commission is so important. We can only be a world leader in raising standards, crucial if we are to meet COP26 interests, if we negatively affect things across the globe.

“I could argue that we are probably beyond the point where the trade deal with Australia can be affected by parliament or the TAC. But it can never be too late and, while we have had no action to date on the TAC, it would send out a reassuring message to announce its existence before COP26 gets underway.”

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