Report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection which outlined the current position relating to Brexit and the representations made by the Port Health and Public Protection Division (PH&PP), in line with the key principles previously agreed by the Committee for collaboration with Government and relevant agencies.
The Director of Port Health and Public Protection informed the Committee that a White Paper had been published by Government the previous week and three elements would have a direct impact on their work:
· Agrifood proposals at present suggested a common rule book would be used with the UK and the EU. If this were to be the case, officers at the Ports would continue carrying out the same level of checks on EU imports as at present and would not need to conduct the additional work which was required for imports from countries outside of the EU.
· For Consumer Protection and Public Health, it was noted that the proposals would address some of the City Corporation’s concerns.
· Live animal trade was an area of concern which had not been addressed in the White Paper.
The Director of Port Health and Public Protection added that funding was in place to engage a consultant who could influence and lobby government on what could be achieved in the areas mentioned. A further report would be provided to the Committee in November 2018.
Members commented they were pleased to see the recognition of European veterinarian qualifications in carrying out agrifood checks and congratulated the team on the work carried out in reaching this stage. However, the Committee was reminded that whilst the White Paper allayed some fears, there was no deal in place and Parliament was yet to approve the proposals, therefore the City Corporation should continue to set out plans for a no deal/worst case scenario.
RESOLVED – That the Committee note and endorse the proposals as set out in the report before Members.