A SOUTH Lakes minister has vowed to fight on after the latest bid to protect UK standards in post-Brexit trade deals was rejected in Parliament this week.

Tim Farron, who also leads the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming, voted for an amendment to the controversial Agriculture Bill, which would have banned low-standard food imports.

But MPs voted by 332 to 279 – a majority of 53 – to overturn House of Lords amendment 16 to the Agriculture Bill which sought to ensure trade deals at least match UK domestic animal welfare standards. Fourteen Conservative MPs, including former Defra secretary Theresa Villiers, rebelled against their own party to support the amendment, but it was not enough to defeat the government.

Mr Farron said in a letter publicised last week: "If we care about not only farmers, animal welfare and environmental protections but the communities that those farms underpin, such as mine in Westmorland, we are letting down generations of farmers and the heritage that they promote and have protected if we allow the Government to throw all that away in negotiations."

Speaking after the vote, Mr Farron said: "The Conservatives have continually promised to back British farmers throughout the Brexit process, but their failure to uphold our high food standards reveals just how hollow those promises were.

"Farmers across the country are incredibly worried about the future - they're worried that the UK is about to be flooded with poor quality food undercutting their high quality produce. We will continue to stand up for our farmers. If the Government doesn't protect our food standards, they will only sow more uncertainty and worry for our farming industry."