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Lords to question Minister on food safety after Brexit

On Wednesday 6th March the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee will question food safety Minister Steve Brine MP about what Brexit means for managing food safety risks.

As an EU Member State, the UK currently benefits from EU-wide surveillance systems to identify risks to food safety and from assessments of potential food safety risks conducted by the European Food Safety Authority. Most decisions about managing food safety risks are taken at an EU level, and then implemented by all Member States.

In a ‘no deal' Brexit scenario, the UK will need to have systems and resources in place to take over these surveillance, assessment and decision-making functions from 29 March. The Sub-Committee will ask the Minister how prepared the UK is for this scenario and to clarify whether the UK will still have access to EU intelligence and assessments during any transition period.

The evidence session will begin at 10:30am in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords. Giving evidence will be:

  • Steve Brine MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health and Social Care
  • Heather Hancock, Chair, Food Standards Agency

Areas the Committee are likely to cover include:

  • The UK's preparedness to take over food safety risk assessment and risk management from the EU at the end of this month, in a ‘no deal' scenario.
  • What influence, if any, the UK will have over food safety decisions taken during a transition period.
  • How the UK will replicate the audit and inspection functions conducted by the European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office when it leaves the EU.

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