Brexit and Legislative Framework

  • The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will preserve EU law in domestic law or convert it into UK law on exit day. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, most EU law will still apply in the UK but as domestic law; there will be no reciprocity with EU Member States. Providing a deal is struck, the UK will got into a 21-month transition or implementation period where the current EU legislation and rules will apply for all parties while future arrangements are negotiated. For no-deal scenario planning see click here
  • During the transition period there is the opportunity to design, and afterwards apply, a new legislative framework for food regulations. We want to help ensure that this framework provides an effective and clear system for the assessment and management of food safety risks and standards in order to protect consumers and maintain and further build confidence in the UK food system post EU exit.
  • Therefore, IFST is currently supporting the Food Standards Agency in its Regulating our Future activities; more specific support on new legislation will be offered when there are opportunities to do so.
  • In a House of Lords inquiry on the life sciences, we have raised concerns that we may lose access to the European Food Safety Authority’s expertise in risk assessment after EU Exit . 
  • Potential challenges and opportunities for positive legislative change have been discussed in IFST forums e.g.

- In conjunction with nutrition organisations (British Nutrition Foundation, Nutrition Society, and British Dietetics Association), we co-organised an invite-only Brexit summit, held in early November 2017, to explore the likely impact of Brexit  on UK food regulations and the regulatory environment. A joint report on this event is available here.

IFST's Food Law Group also hosted an event in March 2018 titled "Focus Future – A Regulatory Minefield?" The meeting featured speakers from the FSA, FDF and Leatherhead Food Research to help the audience steer through the uncertainties. For more details, see our April update on Brexit