THE chairman of Northumberland NFU has welcomed the news of the Government’s decision to form a Trade and Agriculture Commission.

Simon Bainbridge, who farms suckler cows, breeding ewes and free range layers at Donkin Rigg in Cambo, said he was interested to see how the commission will work in practice.

But he called for more detail and clarity on the future for British farming.

In May. an amendment tabled by Devon MP Neil Parish which would have protected farmers from lower standard food imports was defeated, causing widespread anger in the farming community.

Mr Bainbridge said: “It was not that many weeks ago that there was a complete carte blanche attitude and now there has been a general agreement amongst the trade.

“Now the Government is listening to the concerns of consumers, farmers, NGOs and other organisations.”

Mr Bainbridge feared that the legislation could have an impact on rural Northumberland and meant UK farmers would be undercut by US farmers working to lower food standards.

Reacting to the announcement of the commission earlier this week, he said: “It is good that there has been some movement and listening, but I would just like to see some more detail and see if we can have it legislated.

“We are looking for a fair and level playing field.

"What is not fair is lower standard food imports. “

Former environment secretary Theresa Villiers shared the concerns of farmers, and warned that some farmers could go out of business as a consequence of a trade deal with the US.