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Exclusive video interview

Food industry red tape to end after Brexit: DEFRA

By Mike Stones+

Last updated on 12-Jan-2017 at 08:45 GMT2017-01-12T08:45:09Z

DEFRA minister George Eustice promised Brexit would mean less red tape

DEFRA minister George Eustice promised Brexit would mean less red tape

Brexit will bring an end to food industry red tape, promises George Eustice, minister of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The food industry would be able to ditch the excessively bureaucratic legislation from Brussels, which had plagued the food industry for decades, the minister told, in this exclusive video interview, filmed yesterday (January 4), at the Oxford Farming Conference.

“The food industry can look forward to a much more sensible, proportionate and coherent approach to regulation,” said the minister.

‘Protect food safety’

“We’ll have measures in place to protect food safety, that’s very important. We’ll have measures in place to protect consumers.

“But when there are measures that are unnecessary, or requirements for reporting things or keep records that don’t add very much – and we can all think of many, many instances of these types of things – well actually we’ll be able to change the approach to that.”

Cutting Brussels red tape would be possible without compromising access to the EU market of 500M consumers, insisted the minister.

‘Second guessing policy decisions of the UK government’

Brexit will bring an end to the European Court and the European Commission and its auditors “second guessing policy decisions of the UK government”, he added.

In a wide ranging interview, Eustice rejected claims from the parliamentary Environmental Audit Select Committee that Brexit could mean “a triple jeopardy” for the food industry and looked forward to continued contributions from the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board.

Meanwhile, the minister’s red tape promises were backed by his boss environment secretary Andrea Leadsom.

“Too much of your time and money has been wasted on keeping up and complying with red tape ,” Leadsom told delegates in her conference keynote address.

  • This video was produced by Matt Atherton.

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