FSA launches post-EU law consultation

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

The FSA has launched a consultation into food law after the UK leaves the EU
The FSA has launched a consultation into food law after the UK leaves the EU
A consultation on the potential amendments to food and animal feed law after the UK leaves the EU has been launched by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Running until 14 October, the consultation is seeking the views of businesses, other stakeholders and the wider public on the corrections ministers intend to make to retained EU law relating to food and animal feed.

At present, retained EU law requires bodies such as the European Commission (EC) to perform a number of legal functions in respect of the UK.

However, once the UK leaves the EU, they will no longer be able to perform those functions. Therefore, retained EU law will not work properly unless something is done to transfer the functions to UK public bodies, the FSA said.

Maintain the UK’s high standards

In outlining the consultation, the FSA argued its priority was to maintain the UK’s high standards of food and feed safety, and to ensure a risk-based, proportionate approach to risk assessments.

To enable it to achieve this, the agency proposed any main corrections should “provide suitable replacement for the risk management function currently undertaken by the EC and for the risk assessment function currently undertaken by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)”.

The FSA said that, subject to negotiations with the EU, the UK would redefine and formalise a close working relationship with EFSA “based on exchange of information and expertise, contribution to scientific networks, and cross-European collaboration”.

Subject to approval

In addition, it stated that the statutory instruments (legislation) that make the correction should be subject to review and approval by Parliament, and “cannot be made unless Parliament is content that these protections and standards are being maintained”.

The FSA has invited views on the proposed approach to fixing “inoperabilities​” in the retained EU Law for day one of exit from the EU. Furthermore, it has asked whether there are any impacts on the proposed measures that have not been identified in the consultation. It is also seeking any general comments on food and feed safety and hygiene in the UK after Brexit.

FSA chair Heather Hancock has previously argued that a equivalent regulatory regime must be ready by 29 March 2019, regardless of any transition arrangement or decisions about the future trading agreement between the UK and EU.

Visit the FSA website ​to participate in the consultation.

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