Brexit LIVE: ‘Why do fish fingers need ID?’ Rees-Mogg plays down import biosecurity fears

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Leaders at the British Veterinary Association (BVA) are trying to organise an urgent meeting with the Minister for Brexit Opportunities to discuss the matter.

It comes after Mr Rees-Mogg confirmed the UK’s original plan for physical inspections on fresh food, animals and plants imported from the EU on July 1 had been scrapped.

He was asked about the threat posed to biosecurity by removing physical checks on animals and plants.

He claimed that safety checks are “irrelevant” and designed by the EU only to “protect EU markets”. Mr Rees-Mogg told PoliticsHome: “Why does a fish finger need an ID?”

And added: “If you’ve got a packet of cheese, and it is sealed and wrapped in cellophane, why do you need a vet to look at it?

“What’s the vet going to say?

“A lot of safety checks were completely irrelevant and it’s always been an EU approach that was designed to protect EU markets”.


Rees-Mogg plays down biosecurity fears

The UK Minister for Brexit Opportunities spoke on the government’s decision to scrap the original plan for physical inspections on imported fresh food, animals and plants.

Bodies including the Food & Drink Federation, Cold Chain Federation and British Chambers of Commerce welcomed the move.

The traders pointed out how supply chains are already under pressure from inflation and the effects of the war in Ukraine.

The British Veterinary Association opposed the move, warning over “diseases coming into the country”, pointing to the impact swine fever had in China.

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