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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 October 2018 to Question 176014 on Food: Imports , what assessment he has made of the accuracy of statements made by in the paper, Feeding Britain: Food Security after Brexit on the suspension of food controls.
The Government firmly believes it is in the interests of both the EU and the UK to strike a deal. That remains the goal on both sides and we are confident that this will be achieved. However, it is the job of a responsible Government to prepare for all scenarios, including the unlikely event that we reach March 2019 without agreeing a deal. We have already carried out very significant ‘no deal’ preparations and we are now stepping up the pace, including publishing a series of technical notices so that businesses and citizens have time to prepare.
In preparation for our withdrawal from the EU, work is being undertaken across the whole of Government to consider how we best manage border checks and controls in a range of scenarios without impacting the smooth flow of trade. We have been very clear that when we leave the EU, we will categorically not dilute our world leading set of standards on food safety and quality. We are committed to upholding these with robust and independent scientific and technical advice. Any products entering the UK market must meet our high standards of quality and safety.
The UK has a high degree of food security, built on access to a range of sources including strong domestic production and imports from third countries. Consumers will continue to have access to a range of different products when we leave the EU.