The UK’s listed status application has been agreed by European Union (EU) Member States after it met the animal health and biosecurity assurances required for a third country to export live animals and animal products.
This confirmation is part of the EU’s published no deal contingency planning – without it, exports of animal products and most live animals to the EU could not take place in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU on April 12.
It also means the movement of equines between the UK and the EU will also now continue in a no deal scenario, offering welcome reassurance to this sector.
Food and Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley said: “This is good news for UK businesses. It demonstrates our very high standards of biosecurity and animal health which we will continue to maintain after we leave the EU.
“If you or your business import or export animal and animal products or imports high risk food then I urge you to visit our guidance pages on gov.uk for what you need to do to be ready to continue to trade post-Brexit.
“Our top priority remains delivering a negotiated deal, but it is the job of a responsible Government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.”
NFU president Minette Batters said it is reassuring to hear that the UK now has third country listing in the event of a no-deal Brexit, however, she added that the industry must not lose sight that if the UK does leave the EU without a deal, exports to EU countries will still face significant barriers and the imposition of high tariffs.
Mrs Batters added: “Even with third country listing, a no-deal Brexit could have catastrophic impacts on food and farming in Britain.
“Over 60% of British agri-food exports go to the EU so it is essential that we maintain a close relationship with our biggest international trading partner – one that is as free and frictionless as possible.”