News Good Food Trade Campaign

How ready is the UK Gov for a No Deal Brexit?

The Institute for Government has issued a report into government preparedness for a No Deal Brexit. In their view, the Government will ‘face major challenges in passing the required legislation’ on agriculture, fisheries and trade, and will also be unable to mitigate fully the major negative impacts on these areas of a No Deal Brexit.

Credit: Pixababy

Credit: Pixababy

The report notes that the UK’s policies on agriculture, fisheries and continental supply chains are currently all based on our membership of the European Union. Without a deal, they say, there is a "a policy gap and a raft of new checks required for goods going to the EU".

The funding for farmers’ payments has been guaranteed by the UK Government in the short term, but there is no clarity over the UK’s approach to fishing quotas after Brexit.

The Institute for Government go on to point out that UK exporters would need to seek EU approval before sending animal or plant products to sell on the EU market, and would also need to pass through a border inspection post and face customs checks. They also point out that DEFRA has already recognised that it will not be ready for no deal in critical areas such as enforcement of fishing rights and export health certificates.

With regard to the environment, the report points out that the UK's promised new environmental watchdog set to replace functions currently carried out by EU-based bodies will not be in place "until 2021 at the earliest". They flag the need for chemical companies to register in an EEA country if they want to continue exporting and say that the electricity supply for Northern Ireland is at major risk.

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the Sustain alliance said: “This report does not make for happy reading if you’re interested in food, farming or the environment. The Government is simply not ready for a No Deal and is unlikely to pass all the necessary laws and protections in time. There are 8 million people who already live in food insecurity in this country and they can ill afford any interruption to our food system. Our members have been clear on this point: a No Deal Brexit would be bad for food and farming."


Published Thursday 31 January 2019

Good Food Trade Campaign: Campaigning for good trade that benefits people and the planet at home and overseas.

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