No-deal Brexit: EU approves UK’s third country status

The move provides certainty for a market worth more than £5 billion a year
The move provides certainty for a market worth more than £5 billion a year

The UK’s listed status application has been agreed by 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 bloc'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 on 31 October.

The EU’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) confirmed the acceptance of the UK’s listed status application on Friday 11 October.

Exports of live animals and products of animal origin, such as meat, fish and dairy, can now continue.

Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers said the news is 'good' for businesses: “It demonstrates our very high standards of biosecurity and animal health which we will continue to maintain and improve after we leave the EU.

“If you or your business import or export animal and animal products, we want to make sure you are ready for Brexit. Our guidance sets out what you need to do to continue to trade after we leave the EU.

“Our top priority remains delivering Brexit by the end of October, and our preference is to do that with a negotiated deal, but it is the job of a responsible government to ensure we are ready to leave without a deal and without any further pointless delay,” she said.

Listed status is essential to keep trade as frictionless as possible in the event of a no-deal, as over 60 percent of British agri-food exports go to the EU.