Defra minister confirms UK will adopt EU food rules

British farmers have demanded that the government ensures high food and farming standards post-Brexit
British farmers have demanded that the government ensures high food and farming standards post-Brexit

The UK will adopt European Union rules and regulations on food safety and animal welfare standards post-Brexit, Lord Gardiner has said.

During a session at the House of Lords on Wednesday (4 September), the Defra minister said the UK's high food safety standards 'will continue'.

He stated: “We will remain global leaders in environmental protection and animal welfare standards, maintaining our high-quality produce for British consumers.

“The Withdrawal Act will transfer on to the UK statute book all EU food safety, environmental and animal welfare standards.



“Our current high standards, including import requirements, will apply when we leave,” Lord Gardiner said.

UK farm groups have frequently demanded that the government ensures high standards are not undermined by post-Brexit trade policy.



Recently, the NFU wrote to the Defra Secretary urging the establishment of a trade commission to ensure agriculture is not undermined.

A trade and standards commission would be 'fundamental' in ensuring British food and farming values are upheld after Brexit, the union says.

The National Pig Association (NPA), responding to Lord Gardiner's announcement, said that pork exports to the UK would have to adhere to EU's rules on demonstrating it is 'ractopamine free'.

Ractopamine is a beta-agonist, which promotes leanness in animals raised for meat, and is banned by many countries, including China.

NPA senior policy, Ed Barker said that Lord Gardiner's announcement means that in order to export pork to the UK, countries will have to continue following EU regulations.