PROTECTING the future of UK farmers remains a priority of Lord Curry of Kirkhale, who hopes his amendment to the Government's Agriculture Bill will be passed in the House of Commons.

Lord Curry's Amendment 101, which calls for the permanent establishment of the Trade and Agriculture Commission, was passed through the House of Lords last month.

And although the amendment wasn't tabled on Monday as first expected, Lord Curry hopes to table a revised proposal in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

"There would be merit in retaining that commission and allowing it to scrutinise trade deals as they're agreed to ensure they conform to the principals that they have set out," he explained.

Tory MPs overturned measures aimed at protecting UK food standards in future trade deals in a Commons vote on Monday.

They won a majority 53 to disagree with a House of Lords amendment to the Agriculture Bill which would have required agricultural and food imports to meet domestic standards.

The Government argued that existing protections are already in place and they have no intention of watering them down.

Hexham's MP Guy Opperman did not vote on Monday, but said he supports the UK and Tynedale farming community.

"We absolutely need to keep the same high environmental standards on our food and agriculture imports that we had within the European Union," he said, "and this is exactly what the Agriculture Bill delivers, as well as ensuring we can strike new trade agreements with other countries

Lord Curry added: "It's such an important issue and absolutely critical to the future of not just agriculture, but also the environment."