UK's EFRA Calls For 'Common Sense' On EU-Britain Seafood And Meat Trade
The British government's cross-party EFRA Committee has called for 'pragmatism' in order to ease friction in the meat and seafood trade between the European Union and Britain.
In a letter to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Secretary of State George Eustice, the Committee called on the department to take the 'biggest single step' that could ease difficulties – a veterinary partnership agreement.
The Committee also urged MPs to 'stick to the new timetable' to introduce British checks on EU imports, which they say will be 'absolutely vital' in ensuring the competitiveness of the meat and seafood sectors.
Deadline 'Must Be Adhered To'
“The Government has finally set a date for when the playing field will be levelled for British businesses, by introducing checks for EU imports," said Neil Parish MP, Chair of the EFRA Select Committee. "This deadline must be adhered to- our businesses have been at a competitive disadvantage and this cannot continue.
"However, the Government must now take initiative and seek to ease trading friction. A veterinary partnership agreement would reduce the red-tape pressure and costs placed on our seafood and meat exporters when trading with their biggest market, and maintain high animal welfare and food safety standards."
The Committee also noted that it was 'disappointing' that Defra has decided not to offer financial assistance to small businesses struggling to meet the additional red tape costs of exporting meat and seafood to the EU.