Lords raise serious concerns over Defra’s ‘no deal’ preparations in a letter to Michael Gove

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee has written to Secretary of State Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, after his appearance in front of the Committee last week raised serious concerns about his department’s preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.

The Committee’s letter raises five key concerns:

  • Whether there will be a delay in the UK being able to export animals to the EU. Unless the Government can persuade the EU to give the UK ‘listed’ status in advance of Brexit, all animal exports could be halted for months.
  • All animal exports that currently travel Dover-Calais will have to be re-routed. Calais does not have a Border Inspection Post; something all animal exports would have to pass through in a ‘no deal’ scenario.
  • The Government’s ability to control access to UK waters. The Committee were concerned that the Secretary of State had yet to receive permission to obtain the additional staff and boats required for fisheries control and enforcement.
  • No agreement has been reached on how shipments of waste from the UK to the EU will be approved. The waste industry has told the Committee that this could lead to 1.8m tonnes of waste being ‘stranded’ in the UK.
  • The Secretary of State seemed unaware that UK chemical companies may not own the rights to the data that proves their chemicals are safe to use. The Government’s plans for the chemical industry in the case of a ‘no deal’ Brexit are predicated on companies being able to provide this.
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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.