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UK agri welcomes government decision to drop retained EU law plans

UK agri welcomes government decision to drop retained EU law plans

(Posted on 12/05/23)

The UK Government's decision to abandon plans to review all EU-derived legislation by the end of 2023 has been welcomed by the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC). The UK Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch announced that the Government would instead seek to repeal or reform around 600 EU laws, instead of the 4,000 initially planned.

The AIC is the UK agri-supply industry’s leading trade association. Formed in October 2003 by a merger of three trade associations, today AIC has over 230 Members in the agrisupply trade and represents £8 billion turnover at farmgate.

The trade association represents many key sectors within the agri-supply industry - Animal Feed, Crop Protection & Agronomy, Fertilisers, Grain & Oilseed, and Seed.

The AIC has long been calling on the Government to reconsider its approach to reviewing all EU legislation, which was in effect copied into the UK statute book following EU exit.

The Government had originally pledged to keep, amend, or scrap all retained EU legislation by the end of the year.

Robert Sheasby, AIC's Chief Executive, said: "We welcome this change of approach by the Government as it avoids uncertainty and will be of great relief to UK agri-supply businesses.

"While we support the principle of reviewing retained EU legislation, the arbitrary deadline placed on this important and complex work was unrealistic.

"By the Government's own figures, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and respective departments in devolved Governments are tasked with the biggest burden of all, reviewing almost 1,700 pieces of legislation covering a vast range of food, agricultural and environmental policy areas.

"Working through that extensive list of legislation, and giving proper consideration to each, before the year end was clearly impractical and presented unacceptable risks.

He added: "There should now be a comprehensive rethink of food and feed legislation and its process, tailored to the needs of the UK and devolved administrations.

"Developing policy in an evidence-based, open and transparent way is better for the supply chain and consumers. It is far better to take more time over this and get it right, than rush the process to meet an artificial deadline.

"AIC will continue to work with the Government as it seeks to review all retained EU laws over a more appropriate timescale."

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