Brexit: Seed and Ware Potatoes

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:00 pm on 17th November 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of William Irwin William Irwin DUP 3:00 pm, 17th November 2020

6. Mr Irwin asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had, in particular with the UK Government, on the enabling of importation of seed and ware potatoes from Great Britain following the end of the transition period. (AQO 1131/17-22)

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

I wrote to Minister Eustice on 30 October highlighting the significance of this issue to the Northern Ireland agriculture and food services sector and urged him to expedite agreement with the EU on third-country listing for GB to enable seed and ware potatoes to be marketed in Northern Ireland. I have also asked for a derogation to the prohibition that will apply to seed and ware potatoes from GB due to its classification as a third country. I have highlighted the need for a commitment to secure a proportionate easement to the EU legislative phytosanitary certification requirements and associated costs.

My officials have written to DEFRA requesting that specific sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues affecting plants and plant products moving from GB to NI, including seed and ware potatoes, are addressed urgently with the EU to enable continuity of essential trade from GB to Northern Ireland in plant and plant products after implementation period (IP) completion day.

I have also written to Minister McConalogue in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Dublin asking for his support in seeking EU agreement to the UK application for GB third-country listing, which would allow the continuation of the important and integrated trade in potatoes among GB, NI and ROI.

Photo of Patsy McGlone Patsy McGlone Social Democratic and Labour Party 3:15 pm, 17th November 2020

That ends the period for listed questions. We move on to 15 minutes of topical questions.