SOUTH Lakes MP, Tim Farron has accused the Government of seeking to undermine British agricultural standards and putting Cumbrian family farms out of business.

Speaking during a debate in Parliament on the Internal Markets Bill, the MP said: “We have seen the failure of the Government to accept proposals from my party and others that the high standards of British animal welfare and our environmental standards should be written into all new trade deals, but those were refused at every turn - clearly preparing the way to sell out farmers in all corners of the United Kingdom at the first chance the Government get in any trade deal. At the same time, although most of us in this House agree with the Government’s direction in terms of the English changes to farm payments - from basic payments to the environmental land management scheme - the plan has been to underfund the scheme and to bodge it, getting rid of the basic payments before the new payments are in place, therefore killing off English family farms, which are the unit that allows us to have high-quality animal welfare and environmental standards.

“All those things together paint a picture of a Government who have lost touch with the countryside and with agriculture.”