UK crop research organisation NIAB has warned that the EU Commission’s hardline negotiating stance on Brexit is already damaging prospects for UK agri-science, and has called on Ministers to safeguard the UK science base.
Speaking in Cambridge today (30 June), NIAB Chairman Jim Godfrey said the collateral damage of the Brexit talks was becoming a reality after NIAB had recently been notified that future EU variety testing contracts commissioned directly by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) and which might last beyond the envisaged Brexit date of 30 March 2019 would no longer be awarded to the UK.
“Furthermore, if groups of chemistries are limited by legislation, the remaining groups will be more widely used, resulting in an increased risk of pests developing resistance to them,” continues the statement from Rothamsted, the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world.
It seems we are facing a Courgette Crisis. Although it’s really just a bit of a run on green vegetables, it does remind us that actually, courgettes – and now iceberg lettuce – shouldn’t be ‘February vegetables’. This raises some important issues about what we as consumers have learned to expect when it comes to food.
The latest briefing paper from University of Reading Emeritus Professor Alan Swinbank suggests that while Brexit offers the UK an opportunity to design a more efficient agricultural policy that would benefit farmers and the environment, this new policy could have possible implications for consumer prices and will have to conform to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. The paper will be presented at a UK Policy Trade Observatory (UKTPO) event at Chatham House organised by the University of Sussex.