Friday, 25 August 2017

A Brexit wake up call

Farmers Guardian reports that the European Commission has failed to re-authorise the Red Tractor assurance scheme, along with four different schemes from other member states, despite the application for re-approval being lodged six months ago.

The unexplained gaffe has meant farmers whose grain was destined for the biofuels market have been left in the lurch, with some having to fork out for interim storage. The NFU has demanded that the Commission urgently publish its decision on a temporary solution or full approval.

NFU combinable crops board chairman Mike Hambly said: "This current situation is a good wake-up call to Defra, the Department for International Trade, the end consumer and also farmers. No paperwork or tick in a box equals no trade, and it worries me it could happen in many ways, be that through chemical re-registration being missed or even a change in labelling. The importance of these things needs to be absorbed by us all and we need to be active in pushing for timely action to prevent issues rather than waiting until they become a major financial burden".

Though no cause is given for this oversight, one could almost imagine this being a less than subtle hint from the EU. If it isn't then it should be taken as such regardless. We have outlined a number of areas where trade could come to a grinding halt should we fail to reach an agreement - only to be told by hard Brexiters that we are exaggerating - and that it's all just a "millennium bug" panic. Categorically, it isn't. 

From air travel to chemicals registration, if the certification system is not in good legal standing then trade simply does not happen. Now imagine all of these problems hitting simultaneously. Not good is it? How many times does it have to be said?

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