An application to allow the resumption of British seed potato exports to Europe has been rejected by the European Commission. The UK Government had applied to the European Commission seeking a solution to the Brexit trade deal not including third-country equivalence for seed potatoes.
This is the tool whereby the European Commission decides whether a non-EU country’s regulatory, supervisory and enforcement regime is equivalent to its own. Failure to secure the equivalence status put an end to all GB seed potato exports to Northern Ireland and Europe from January 1 this year.
Industry estimates suggest the trade is worth around £10 million a year, with a combined volume of about 22,000 tonnes exported annually.
A UK Government spokesman confirmed the application had been declined. He said: “We are disappointed with the European Commission’s decision to not progress our case for seed potato equivalence. The Environment Secretary will continue to raise this issue with them and challenge their decision, to ensure this vital trade continues at the earliest opportunity.”
Source: The Press and Journal. Report by Gemma Mackenzie. Full report here