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

Again, the hon. Lady raises a good point. We are setting up the most stringent system and checks. I will perhaps make some references to that in my summing up at the end, because people are concerned about it. However, we are revered for our standards on these things already, and we will be strengthening our checks and balances, because it is so important to us as an island that we address these things.

The majority of the changes update the list of regulated plant pests and plant material and associated import and movement requirements relating to host material in the 2019 regulations to reflect the recent amendments to the list in the plant health directive made by Commission implementing directive 2019/523, as a result of technical changes in the assessment of risks presented by particular pests and diseases. Important changes are included, regulating against new threats, such as the lemon tree borer, which affects a great deal more species than just lemon trees, including species in this country, and strengthening protections against the tobacco whitefly and the pine processionary moth, for which the UK currently has protected zone status. In addition, the list is being updated to ensure that specific national measures that have been introduced under EU provisions to protect against the rose rosette virus and the oak processionary moth remain operable after we exit the EU. I thought I would just say a bit about those two things because they are the new things we are ensuring protection against.

The rose rosette virus is an extremely damaging disease that will affect our wonderful roses. It is already widespread in the USA and parts of Canada, where it has had devastating impacts, and it was found for first time in 2017 in India. The virus affects all roses—