Food Supply: UK Trade with EU

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Geraint Davies Geraint Davies Labour, Swansea West

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the London School of Economics report, Vulnerabilities of Supply Chains Post-Brexit, published in September 2020, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the recommendation in that report which advocates full recognition by the EU and the UK at customs borders of their respective agreed food safety systems and veterinary certifications to minimise frictions in supply chains for UK food and dairy producers.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I welcome the London School of Economics report. It is important that we are able to minimise friction in our supply chains.

We have been clear any future agreement will be made in respect of the decision-making autonomy of the European Union and with respect for British sovereignty.

The UK must retain the ability to set its own laws and regulations, and so in the ongoing negotiations with the EU, we will always look to agree the best deal for British producers and businesses.

From 1 January 2021 the UK will have the autonomy to introduce its own approach to goods imported to Great Britain from the EU. However, we recognise the impact Covid-19 has had on businesses and therefore we have taken the decision to introduce border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021. This flexible and pragmatic approach will give industry extra time to make necessary arrangements.

We remain committed to engaging closely with businesses to ensure that delivery of any new administrative requirements works for everyone. This included a warning already given to stakeholders that they need to prepare to trade on different terms once the UK has left the Single Market.

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