THE Scottish Tories have been accused of trying to take Scottish farmers “for fools” after most of the party’s MPs voted against protecting post-Brexit food standards after Brexit.

On Monday night the party rejected a Lords amendment to the Agriculture Bill aimed at ensuring trade deals meet UK animal welfare and food safety standards.

The effort was defeated by 332 votes to 279.

While Scots Tory leader Douglas Ross voted to support the amendment, four of his cohort – David Duguid, Alister Jack, Andrew Bowie and John Lamont – backed the UK Government in rejecting it. No vote was recorded for David Mundell.

Campaigners say the UK could now be made to accept lower standards in order to secure a trade agreement with America under the terms of the Agriculture Bill. Farming groups and activists have raised fears possible imports of chlorinated chicken or beef fattened with hormones.

READ MORE: Agriculture Bill: These Scottish Tories voted against protecting food standards

Following the result, farming leaders at NFU Scotland said they were “bitterly disappointed”, with president Andrew McCornick stating: “I will continue to advocate at every turn to ensure that Scottish and UK standards of production are considered in the negotiation of new and other trade agreements. I firmly believe that is what the public wish to see.”

Now Dave Doogan, the SNP’s agriculture and rural affairs spokesman at Westminster said: “Our farmers and food producers – as well as consumers – now have no protections in law from lower quality, cheap imports coming in through trade agreements.

“The Scottish Tories think they can take Scotland’s farmers, food producers and consumers for fools.

“Rather than challenging Boris Johnson over protecting food standards and leading his Scottish Tory colleagues through the voting lobby to enshrine domestic food standards into legislation, Douglas Ross instead played gesture politics.

“Ross is well aware that his sole vote – without so much as lifting a finger to urge his Scottish Tory colleagues to back him – was nothing short of puerile posturing in the full knowledge it made not a jot of difference.

“His attempts to paint a misleading picture over standing up for Scotland’s farmers and agriculture sectors have been found to be hollow.

“It is yet another example of where the Tory government’s Brexit plans will inflict untold harm upon them.”

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has told ministers that failing to reach a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union should hold “no fear” for

the UK. The Prime Minister reportedly wants to know if a deal is possible by Thursday’s summit of European Union leaders.

Yesterday his official spokesperson said: “The PM reiterated that, while we want a deal on the right terms, if we can’t get there we are ready and willing to move forward with an Australian-style outcome, which holds no fear”.

Australia has no comprehensive trade deal in place with the European Union. It also does far less business with the bloc than the UK does. Michel Barnier, the

EU’s lead negotiator, has updated ministers from the 27 member states at a meeting in Luxembourg ahead of this week’s European Council summit.

And Michael Roth, Germany’s Europe minister, cautioned: “Let me be very clear – and this is also a message to our British friends – no-one should play down the risks of a No-Deal. This would be very bad news for everyone, for the EU and even more so for the United Kingdom.

“In the midst of the most serious economic downturn in decades, it would inflict our citizens yet another serious economic setback.”