Now we have all enjoyed a “Brexit breather” for a little time, the Government has written to all stakeholders with an interest in DEFRA to explain what to do now.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, says in his letter that DEFRA has stood down its no deal preparations for the immediate future. However, if we reach 31st October without a deal being passed by Parliament there is still the possibility of a No Deal, so work will continue to mitigate the effects of this.

The letter in full can be viewed here.

It is important to note that a no deal is still a possibility, so please continue planning for this eventuality. We remain committed to helping businesses prepare for a no deal, and our planning & preparation advice will be updated accordingly.

DEFRA’s EU Exit team have sent a communication to the HTA requesting information about the effects Brexit has had on businesses, in particular no deal planning.

They wish to take this time to understand what the impacts of No Deal preparation have had on business, and how you are intending to prepare over the coming months.

In particular, questions they would like answers to are; -

  1. What preparations for a potential No Deal exit did you undertake?
  2. What were the impacts of these on your business, e.g. costs etc. This could include costs, the implication of bringing material in early, resultant biosecurity concerns, planning time taken, extra staff costs, how the uncertainty affected you and your business, basically anything that is Brexit related.
  3. How you intend to continue EU Exit preparations & planning. Explain briefly what the plans will be and over what time period you will conduct them.

In addition to sending your response to DEFRA (please send to businessreadinessagrifoodchain@defra.gov.uk ) would you please copy the HTA in to your reply (policy@hta.org.uk ) . Your response will be treated in the utmost confidence. (For those of you wondering at the e-mail address, ornamental horticulture is included under DEFRA’s agri-food EU Exit department)

If you need any assistance or wish to comment, please contact Sally Cullimore, HTA Policy Executive policy@hta.org.uk

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