Food and Drink Assimilated Law Consultation

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Closes 25 Jun 2024

Food and Drink Assimilated Law Consultation

Will the proposed revocations or amendments affect UK food and drink standards? 

The UK is a world-leader in standards of food safety and quality, backed by a rigorous legislative framework, but it is only right that we should evaluate assimilated laws to ensure they continue to meet our needs.  While this is an opportunity for review, maintaining the UK’s high food standards remains our priority.  

The government remains committed to delivering informative food labelling and promoting robust food standards nationally and internationally to:  

  • protect consumer interests 

  • facilitate international trade 

  • ensure that consumers can have confidence in the food that they buy  

Defra does not anticipate that the revocation or amendment of any of the proposed assimilated laws inherited from the EU will reduce standards. We understand the pieces proposed to be revoked to already be obsolete, that they will be obsolete soon or will be obsolete by the time the relevant provision in the draft instrument comes into force. We do not, therefore, believe that keeping any of the legislation on our domestic statute book will contribute to maintaining the UK’s food and drink standards. However, any responses to this consultation that identify impacts on food and drink standards will be taken into consideration.  

Will the proposed revocations or amendments affect environmental standards?  

In line with The Environment Act 2021, which places a duty on Ministers of the Crown to have due regard to the environment, using the environmental principles policy statement, government officials have reviewed whether the proposed revocation and amendment of the food and drink assimilated laws listed in the draft SI would affect the environment.  

Defra does not anticipate that the revocation or amendment of any of the proposed pieces of assimilated laws inherited from the EU will reduce environmental standards because we understand the pieces proposed to be removed to be obsolete or soon to be obsolete and not, therefore, currently impacting the environment. However, any responses to this consultation that identify impacts to environmental standards will be taken into consideration. 

Will the proposed revocations have an economic impact? 

The UK food and drink industry is one of the largest industries in the UK, with 4.2m people employed in the agri-food sector in 2022, and £244bn spent on food, drink and catering in 20221.   

To ensure the UK continues to have a thriving food and drink industry, Defra has considered whether the proposed revocations within this consultation will have an economic impact, positive or negative. 

Defra does not anticipate the proposed revocations included in this consultation to have an economic impact on the UK food and drink industry. This is because we understand the pieces proposed to be removed are, or will soon, be obsolete, therefore not currently impacting the economy. However, Defra analysts will consider conducting further economic assessment of the revocations drawing from responses in this consultation if appropriate.