A CUMBRIAN farmer and a politician have said that the new Trade and Agriculture Commission must be given teeth to protect British farmers in future trade deals.

Alistair Mackintosh, a beef and sheep farmer from west Cumbria, said the commission must not became a 'quango that delivers for Government, that just ticks all the boxes'.

And South Lakes MP, Tim Farron says he hopes that the new commission will be able to 'properly scrutinise any new trade deal and the effect it will have on the UK's world-class food, animal welfare and environmental standards.'

Trade Secretary Liz Truss announced the Government will set up a Trade and Agriculture Commission to explore ways to protect food production standards, just three weeks after Farming Minister Victoria Prentis rejected the idea.The Secretary of State confirmed her intention to establish the body in a letter to National Farming Union (NFU) president Minette Batters, who has been pushing for its creation for 18 months.

"At the end of the day I want to see our standards adopted by others, but at the same time I do not want our standards to be diluted," said Mr Mackintosh, NFU Cumbrian council delegate.

Mr Farron said the announcement contained no details about how this new commission would operate.