Brexit: plant and animal biosecurity

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Series Title
Series Details (2017-19)HL191
Publication Date 24/10/2018
Content Type ,

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee of the House of Lords EU Select Committee published a report on the potential impact of Brexit on plant and animal biosecurity on the 24 October 2018.

Further information

The report found that the UK's biosecurity could be at risk after Brexit if it lost access to vital EU alerts on animal and plant pest and disease threats. The Committee urged the government to seek continued participation in the EU's notification and intelligence sharing networks, advising that continued cooperation was critical to our ability to manage threats which could be economically and ecologically catastrophic to the UK.

The Committee highlighted at least seven areas that the UK Government would need to address before Brexit day, if the UK's biosecurity was not to be compromised:

+ Information sharing
+ Capacity in the veterinary sector
+ Inspections and audits
+ Access to research funding
+ Enforcement of biosecurity legislation
+ Capacity within Government departments and agencies; and
+ The legislative framework.

The Committee expressed doubt that the UK would have effective replacement systems ready in the event of a no-deal Brexit in March 2019.

The Committee recognised that leaving the EU could open opportunities for the UK to implement stricter biosecurity measures at its borders but cautioned that these additional checks would create barriers to the free-flow of imports and exports. The report concluded that the Government would have to strike a balance between maintaining the integrity of the UK's biosecurity and the need to facilitate trade and reduce delays at the UK's ports and airports.

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Related Links
UK: Parliament: House of Lords: Committees: EU Committee: News, 24.10.18: Brexit: plant and animal biosecurity report published by Committee
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union

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