Defra pressed on preparations for ‘no deal’

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The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee has written again to the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP to ask about the impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on those working in the environment, food and rural affairs sectors, and the preparations his Department has made for this scenario.

The European Commission has issued a series of ‘notices to stakeholders’, which set out the legal and practical ramifications for different sectors if the UK was to leave the EU with no withdrawal agreement in place. The Sub-Committee is seeking to understand what assessment the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has made of the impact of this scenario and the steps it has taken to mitigate this.

Chairman of the Committee, Lord Teverson, said: “Whilst the Government hopes to negotiate an agreement with the EU that would avoid this scenario, it is not guaranteed that they will achieve this. The ramifications of ‘no deal’, as set out in these notices, are significant: from the additional paperwork that businesses will need to complete in order to export to the EU, to transporters of live animals needing to obtain certification from an EU Member State in order to be able to drive in to the EU and UK vessels needing EU authorisation to fish in EU waters.

“Meeting these requirements would involve significant costs for individuals, businesses and Government. Some arrangements could also take considerable time to put in place. We have written to the Secretary of State to ask what steps he has taken to ensure the UK is prepared for this eventuality.”