Brexit – archived
This page has been archived and will not be updated or linked from the site menu. It remains published for reference purposes but some links may no longer work. For more up to date information on the UK approach to GM regulation, see our Safeguards under threat page
The UK’s departure from the European Union could bring GM crops to our fields and our shopping baskets. Find out why and what you can do to safeguard our food and our farms.
Crucial safeguards on the growing of GM crops and the use of GM in our food are based on European Union law so are now vulnerable to change.
GM Freeze is campaigning to protect UK farmers right to farm responsibly, fairly and sustainably and consumers’ right to make informed choices.
This means ensuring that the UK has:
Rigorous GM regulation that protects people, animals and the environment.
GM labelling that allows people to take control of what they are eating.
Protection from GM contamination.
Safeguard our Farms is our campaign to secure robust GM regulation and proper protection from GM contamination, as the UK leaves the European Union,
Don’t Hide What’s Inside is our campaign to ensure that the UK retains the requirement for GM ingredients to be clearly identified on food labels after Brexit.
Ask your MP to safeguard our food and our farms
Share the GM Freeze General Election manifesto for a responsible, fair and sustainable food system with your MP so that they know what matters to you.
Key Brexit issues that affect GM in food and farming
Our briefing, Brexit and GM explains why Brexit could change everything on GM in our food and on our farms. Share with your MP on twitter.
Withdrawal and retained EU Law
A no-deal Brexit could lead to an immediate and significant reduction in GM safeguards. Statutory Instruments are transferring EU regulations into UK law but they do not properly protect the devolution arrangements which have allowed Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to reject GM crops. They also require UK agencies to carry out risk assessments and other technical work that is way beyond their experience.
A withdrawal deal will probably commit the UK to following EU rules on GM in food and farming until the end of a transition period, currently December 2020. After that, the situation will depend on what trade deals the UK does with the EU, the US and others.
Read our response to the Food Standards Agency’s consultation on their proposed approach to retained EU law for food and feed safety and hygiene.
Outside of the EU, the UK will negotiate trade deals with other countries, including those that have much lower standards of regulation on GM food and crops. GM regulations have already been identified as a non-tariff barrier to trade so we know that they are vulnerable. GM Freeze has joined the Stop ISDS campaign to oppose the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement in any future trade deals.
Read Sustain’s Ten things food and farming people need to know about leaked US/UK trade papers including clear identification that GM is on the table in these discussions.
Read an analysis of Donald Trump’s Executive Order that aims to force the UK (and EU) to open the door to GM crops from the US.
Read our evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry into Brext and trade in food.
Read our evidence to four different Department of International Trade consultations on post-Brexit trade negotiations with Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the Trans Pacific Partnership.
A new approach to food and farming
Food and farming are key policy areas for change after Brexit with a new Agriculture Act and the proposed National Food Strategy still to come, all led by a Prime Minster who has spoken often of his intention to “liberate” the UK from GM safeguards.
Read our subsmission to the public consultation on the Defra Command Paper, Health and Harmony
Read our evidence to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Commitee’s Agriculture Bill Inquiry.
Read our submission to the Call for Evidence for the National Food Strategy
Stay in touch, stay connected
Join the GM Freeze email list to ensure you hear first about our campaign actions on Brexit and other GM issues.
Follow us on twitter and facebook to see news we share from others campaigning on similar issues.
Share the Safeguard our Farms and Don’t Hide What’s Inside campaign pages
GM Freeze is part of the Sustain Alliance for Better Food and Farming and the Brexit Civil Society Alliance, which are both working to achieve the best possible policy outcomes as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
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This page was last updated on 26 November 2020 [archived February 2022]