Plants: UK Trade With EU

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 28th February 2022.

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Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Conservative, Scarborough and Whitby

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to establish a plant health agreement with the EU for the export of seeds, plants and trees.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra is not looking to establish a specific plant health agreement with the EU

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement includes a sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) chapter which allows the UK and the EU to take a risk-based approach to our respective SPS border controls and provides a basis for cooperation on avoiding unnecessary barriers to trade.

A key part of this is the Trade Specialised Committee, which is tasked with regularly reviewing the Parties' SPS measures, including certification requirements and border clearance processes, and their application, in order to facilitate trade between the Parties.

We are open to discussions with the EU on additional steps to further reduce trade friction, but these cannot be on the basis of future alignment with EU rules. This would compromise UK sovereignty over our own laws.

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