Farmers have warned Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams they fear a 'race to the bottom' on food standards.

Members from the Farmers’ Union of Wales(FUW) members met with the MP last week to outline their concerns and objections to the free trade agreement with Australia, which they believe could see the UK flooded with cheap Australian produce.

The FUW says that rushing through the deal would be "disastrous" - and also highlighted differences between employment regulations, scale, land availability and taxation regimes as areas for concern.

FUW Montgomeryshire county chairman Bryn Francis said: “We made it very clear in our meeting with Craig Williams MP that trade deals lock the current and future governments into them, and as such need time and thorough scrutiny.

"Under no circumstances should they be rushed, but that is what is happening here, on top of which the UK Parliament will not be able to scrutinise and have a final say on a deal in the way other democratic nations do."

Access to the UK market is a key component of a prospective trade agreement between the UK and Australia, with both sides are hoping to come to an in-principle deal by the time the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, meets with Boris Johnson in London next week(June 15).

However UK farmers have expressed their concern that the market would be flooded with imported meat from Australia which, they say, would not have to adhere to the same standards and could be produced more cheaply.

"The extreme problems we are seeing in Northern Ireland because of the protocol show what happens when politicians do not listen to stark warnings and rush things through in order to meet a self imposed timetable, but that’s exactly what’s happening with regard to the Australia deal," he added.

"As it stands - we in Wales have no ability under existing legislation to reduce our standards to the extent that they come close to meeting the competitive advantage that Australian imports would enjoy. Doing so to any extent like that would equate to a ‘race to the bottom’ that would add to friction for our exports to our main markets in Europe."

Mr Williams said he would be scrutinising the deal thoroughly, but that the full details of any arrangement were not available yet.

"The trade deal is not out yet so we don't know the detail," he said.

"I sit on the International Trade Select Committee and once we have the agreement we will be scrutinising it. I'll continue to engage with the farming unions once we have the full detail from the agreement."