THE SNP has demanded that the “Supine Six” Scottish Tories back Scotland’s farmers in a proposed post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

The party is campaigning to remove the “completely unacceptable” threat of a decline in food standards through a series of amendments to the UK Trade Bill after the Westminster Government failed to set out the role for Holyrood or other devolved parliaments.

The SNP say their amendments would give devolved administrations the right to reject trade deals and would protect Scottish food producers.

Deidre Brock, the SNP shadow secretary for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) hit out at the six Scottish Tories (referred to as the “Supine Six”) who rejected the UK Agriculture Bill last month, which would enshrine in law the principle that imported food would need to match UK farmers’ quality and animal welfare standards.

John Lamont of Berwick, Roxburgh and Selkirk, Andrew Bowie of Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Douglas Ross of Moray, David Duguid of Banff and Buchan, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack of Dumfries and Galloway and his predecessor David Mundell of Clydesdale and Tweeddale all voted against the measure.

On social media, farmers felt those in the livestock producing constituencies the Tories represent had the most to lose from the lack of protection, which would mean the UK market would be open to imports of cheap meat from production systems which rely on unrestricted use of genetically modified crops and hormonal growth promoters, as well as feeding systems very different from the grass-based farms in Scotland.

READ MORE: Six Scottish Tory MPs vote against food import safeguards

Brock said: “Scotland’s six Tory MPs shamefully hung Scotland’s producers out to dry during the recent UK Agriculture Bill but they have a chance to redeem themselves by supporting these amendments to the Trade Bill.

“The eyes of Scotland’s food producers and consumers will be on the Supine Six and a second betrayal will not be forgiven.

“Farmers and agricultural businesses across Scotland have already been dealt a hammer blow from the coronavirus crisis. A ‘race to the bottom’ trade deal with the US at the same time would be nothing short of reckless, and would damage the world-class brand of high-quality Scottish produce.”

Brock urged the Westminster Government to ensure that Scotland’s high-quality food producers would not be undercut by cheaper, sub-standard imports.

She added: “A Tory trade deal under the proposed framework risks opening our world-class produce sector to ractopamine pork, chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef with our devolved Parliaments unable to stop it. That would be completely unacceptable.

“In the 2019 election, the Tories committed to high consumer, worker, and environmental standards but Downing Street has thrown that out the window and now refuses to confirm whether sub-standard food will be kept out of our shops and off of our plates.

“SNP amendments to the UK Trade Bill would ensure that our food remains high quality and no agricultural or food products of lower standards could be imported.”