Liberal Democrat campaigners are concerned by the risk of leaving the EU without a deal and of a possible US trade deal that would lead to substandard imported goods undercutting British producers.

The Parliamentary spokesperson for North Shropshire, Helen Morgan, said she urged Mr Paterson to protect farming jobs in the constituency.

"Now that the starting gun has been fired on Brexit trade negotiations, it's really important that we get the best possible deal for our farming and food industries," said Ms Morgan.

"They are by far our biggest employer in North Shropshire and it's critical to protect jobs here.

"That's why we are calling on Owen Paterson to use his influence to support the British farming and food industries, instead of their US and European competitors".

The petition urged Mr Paterson to:

•Oppose a 'no-deal' outcome to the EU Brexit trade negotiations

•Support free and frictionless access to EU markets for export

•Oppose any deals allowing imports of food that would fail to meet our current world leading standards of hygiene and animal welfare.

•Support the addition of concrete legal protections into the Agriculture Bill to keep current protections for food standards, hygiene and animal welfare, in time for the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020.

Ms Morgan added: "Mr Paterson has travelled to the US to listen to the concerns of lobbyists there.

"But to safeguard jobs in North Shropshire he needs to support British farmers and food producers.

"Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for our local industry and local jobs in North Shropshire."

The petition can be found online at