Bob Seely tells News OnTheWight why he voted against the Lords’ amendment to Agricultural Bill that others worry will reduce UK food standards

The Isle of Wight MP came under fire this week for how he voted in relation to post-Brexit food standards in the UK. Here are the reasons Bob said he voted against it and some of the reasons why others are worried about standards being undermined

bob seely in parliament with arms crossed

Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, came under fire this week for voting against an amendment to the Agricultural Bill that sought to protect post-Brexit food standards in the UK.

NFU President Minette Batters met today (Wednesday) with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where she stressed the need for action to safeguard British farming’s high standards in trade policy.

Seely: Assured Ministers will drive a hard bargain
News OnTheWight asked Bob why he’d voted in the way he had. He replied,

“I believe that the Lord’s amendment to the Agriculture Bill requiring imports of food and agricultural goods to meet domestic standards risked adverse effects. This amendment would have made it very difficult to secure any new trade deals, and I know that such conditions are not in place for imports under agreements negotiated during our membership of the EU. 

“I am assured that Ministers will drive a hard bargain for access to our market, and existing import conditions will need to be respected. I also had concerns that the amendment would jeopardise the 19 currently unsigned agreements that the UK is seeking to roll over.

“Trade, of course, already takes place under those agreements, with existing import requirements met. However, unpicking those and demanding the numerous extra conditions in the amendment could upset the current deals if partners refused and walked away.”

Batters: Nation does not want to see standards undermined
During the meeting with the PM, Mrs Batters from the NFU urged him to increase the parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals, in particular strengthening the Trade and Agriculture Commission to allow MPs to have their say on how trade deals would impact British food and farming.

She said:

“It was good to have the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister today, at such an important time for British farming.

“We are at a juncture that will have ramifications for both farming and the wider public for decades to come. I made clear that the nation cares deeply about British food and the high standards it is produced to. They do not want to see it undermined by imported food that could be produced to standards that are illegal here. 

“Already, over a million people have signed our petition and tens of thousands of letters have been written to MPs on this issue. Those people want action to ensure our high standards of food production are not undercut.

“We also discussed the critical importance of getting our new agricultural policy right and the urgent clarity needed now for our fruit, veg and flowers growers about where they will get their all-important workforce from in time for the 2021 season and beyond.

“I hope to continue to have constructive discussions with the Prime Minister and his government ministers as the Agriculture Bill reaches its final stages and throughout our trade negotiations with the EU and others.”

Wednesday, 14th October, 2020 6:49pm



Filed under: Agriculture, Farming, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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12 Comments on "Bob Seely tells News OnTheWight why he voted against the Lords’ amendment to Agricultural Bill that others worry will reduce UK food standards"

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It’s increasingly obvious that Seely doesn’t give a stuff about people being able to eat, let alone the quality of the food they can afford.

3 months we’ve been waiting for a response about disabled children being able to access the same support in food vouchers as able bodied children.

What a waste of skin


60% of the Islanders voted 2016 for sub standard food. So he simply delivers.

Does anyone really need a translation of this? Sergeant Seely does not wish to compromise his career by voting against the government. Like anybody exposed to politics for any length of time he’s good at obfuscation and window dressing. There can be only one reason for not enshrining standards into law and that is because the government want to be able to reduce them for imports. They… Read more »

Problem is though, those of us that didn’t vote Tory or Brexit, and could see this coming, have to suffer as well.

Justin Case
Dear Mr Seely, I’m hoping you are reading this. I credit you with not being a stupid person so I must conclude that you think us hoi polloi are entirely stupid enough not to understand what has just happened. Let me clarify: As a background to our overseas trade dealings in general, the Government is consistently using quantitative easing to help cover our balance of payments –… Read more »
Angela Hewitt

Perhaps Boris needs chlorinated chicken to be sold here. Especially if all those voting for Trump are eating it.

“I am sure that ministers will drive a hard bargain for access to our market”, says Seely. Not true. Leaks tell us that the Government is so desperate to conclude a trade deal with the US as soon as possible that it has caved in to demands to accept cheap food imports of, for example, chlorinated chicken and growth-hormone-fed beef. In the US, keeping chickens in horrendously… Read more »
Mark L Francis

He is only obeying orders. (The Eichmann Defence)


Agreed, Tamara – a sad, horrific description of most of the US animal meat trade, Armageddon for Animals. Yet – the phrase (sic): “we are what we eat” – rings so true. Descriptions of this phrase can be checked on the Internet.


Brexit – the perfect excuse to ditch controlling Brussels and its silly rules.

Now we have left that nasty expensive EU we can feed the pleb as much chlorinated chicken as we like.

Food standards, who needs them.

Jenny Smart

Toad in the hole!


I wonder how he’ll vote when they flog off the NHS to the Yanks.