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Exiting the European Union (Plant Health)

Part of Delegated Legislation – in the House of Commons at 3:37 pm on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:37 pm, 8th October 2019

I beg to move,

That the draft Plant Health (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, which were laid before this House on 22 July, be approved.

These regulations amend the Plant Health (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 to ensure that recent EU-derived protective measures against the introduction and spread of harmful plant pests continue to remain effective and operable on leaving the EU. The 2019 regulations, which were debated in this House on 19 March, are an important element of the EU exit legislation that we have put in place to maintain plant biosecurity, and they set out a list of harmful pests and plant material that will continue to be regulated.

It is our responsibility to protect biosecurity across plant and animal health, as well as to protect the wider ecosystem. It is also important that we have a robust process of ongoing review to strengthen biosecurity protections, where this is possible and necessary, as we leave the EU. These draft regulations are specifically about protecting plant biosecurity, and the amendments address technical deficiencies and inoperability issues—that is quite a mouthful—relating to retained EU law on plant health that could arise when we leave the EU. I should make it clear that all the amendments introduced by this instrument are simply technical operability amendments and do not introduce any policy changes. They ensure that existing measures set out in EU legislation and national measures introduced under the EU’s plant health directive will continue to apply to the UK as we leave the EU.