Brexit: plant and animal biosecurity inquiry. A response from the British Ecological Society to the Lord's EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee.

Published online
23 Jul 2020
Published by
British Ecological Society
Content type

Publication language
UK & European Union & Irish Republic & British Isles & Europe


This paper presents the response from the British Ecological Society to the Lord's EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, addressing the following questions: (i) What are the implications of the UK's withdrawal from the EU (Brexit) for the UK's biosecurity in terms of animal and plant health, invasive species and food safety? (ii) Will the transfer of law via the EU (Withdrawal) Bill be sufficient to ensure that current legislative protections remain in place?; (iii) To what extent is a shared approach to biosecurity between the UK and the EU necessary and/or appropriate post-Brexit?, a. Should the UK retain the precautionary principle in its implementation of biosecurity legislation after leaving the EU?; (iv) To what extent is the UK reliant on the EU for the surveillance and timely notification of biosecurity threats?, a. Are there alternative (i.e. non-EU, or international) mechanisms that the UK will be able to participate in post-Brexit?; (v) What are the main mechanisms for biosecurity information sharing between the UK and the rest of the EU? Can these be maintained post-Brexit?; (vi) What biosecurity risk assessment, inspection and management is currently carried out by the EU that will need to be repatriated post-Brexit, and are there any resource challenges associated with this?; (vii) How should biosecurity be managed on the island of Ireland post-Brexit?; and (viii) Are there steps the UK can take post-Brexit to strengthen its biosecurity, in ways currently prohibited by EU membership?.

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