Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie has welcomed the creation of a new commission to examine future UK agricultural trade policy and animal welfare standards.

Ms Baillie said the Trade and Agricultural Commission - announced by the government today - addresses farmers' concerns as the country becomes an independent trading nation now it has left the EU.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has welcomed the announcement.

"I have been pushing for the government to listen to our farmers on food standards and animal welfare," said Ms Baillie,

"This commission is a major win for British farming and welcome news. It will be a major influence in this key area for the UK as we look to strike free trade deals around the world."

She said: "We need policy that allows us to sign strong deals to boost new opportunities while also protecting the standards that we are proud of in the UK.”

The new commission will provide a report on four main areas agreed with the NFU: free trade policies, consumer interests and developing countries, the creation of higher international animal welfare standards and export opportunities, particularly for small and medium sized businesses.

"I know the strength of support for buying local and for our farmers throughout Stroud, the Valleys and the Vale and nationally,” Ms Baillie explained.

"We must convert this attention and focus into farm friendly agriculture policy and an ongoing nationwide drive to buy British produce.”

Stroud's MP said that the government is keeping its word on welfare standards.

She said: "Our manifesto pledged that in all of our trade negotiations, we would not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

"Another part of this commitment lies in the EU Withdrawal Act which is transferring all existing EU food safety provisions, including existing import requirements, onto the UK statute book.

"These import standards include a ban on using artificial growth hormones in domestic and imported products and no chlorinated water to decontaminate poultry carcasses.

"Any changes to existing legislation would require new legislation to be brought before parliament.

"These and other commitments are real protections and show the government is determined to seize opportunities for our agriculture sector and that the UK will be a world leader in animal and foods standards in the years to come.”