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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 shall just finish describing the horrific effects of this virus, if the hon. Gentleman does not mind. The virus affects all roses and its mite vector may be present in both plants and plant parts. Current EU regulations restrict the import of plants for planting from non-European countries to plants which are dormant and free from leaves, flowers and fruit, but this is not sufficient to prevent the entry of this devastating virus, which is why we introduced national protections, which we want to retain into the future. Can you imagine, Mr Deputy Speaker, if the virus got a hold in our gardens, where we love and revere roses so much? It would have a terrible impact, as it would have on our high-quality rose breeders and the whole of that industry. It is extremely serious. Interestingly, the EU is now following our lead and is going to copy what we do. That sets us up as leaders.