The Transition Period
The UK leaves the EU on 31 January 2020. We then enter into a transition period which ends on 31 December 2020. During this period the UK will no longer be part of the EU but will still continue to be subject to EU rules and remain a member of the single market and customs union.
EU law will continue to apply across the UK at least until the end of 2020.
The transition period is designed to provide time for agreement over the future UK-EU relationship while ensuring that businesses will only need to adapt to non-EU rules once the future deal is agreed.
At the moment, it’s business as usual and there are no changes to be implemented. But it’s important to know that changes are coming, and those will be dependent on what happens in terms of negotiations with the EU and other countries during 2020.
Upholding Food Standards
Food Standards Scotland continues to work to ensure that the standard of the food we produce and eat in Scotland remains high, so that the public can be assured that their food is safe to eat and is of the quality they rightly expect.
Preparing for Brexit
Since the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU in 2016, Food Standards Scotland has been working with the public, the food industry and government to prepare for Brexit. We have been preparing for all possible scenarios, including a ‘no deal’ - as the risk of this scenario remains - and are as prepared for the future as we can be. We have been:
- Working with colleagues in Scotland and across the UK to bring EU food law into UK law, and making changes to domestic food law to make sure it continues to work after the UK leaves the EU.
- Talking to consumers to better understand their views about Brexit and food.
- Working with others to develop proposals for UK-wide frameworks on how we may work collaboratively across the UK in future
- Contributing to UK-wide research which will assist in assessing UK laboratory capacity for food and feed purposes.
- Building upon well-established liaison arrangements with other government departments and agencies to ensure that any changes to regulation in future will continue to be evidence-based and proportionate.
Leaving the EU doesn’t change our primary focus: protecting the interests of consumers in Scotland in relation to food and drink. Everything we do is aimed are making sure food is safe and is what it says it is on the label, and in helping consumers make healthier food choices, and we will carry on focusing on these aims.
Food Standards Scotland welcomes the valuable contribution our friends and colleagues who are EU citizens make, and we would encourage any EU Citizens who have not yet done so to apply to the EU Settlement scheme.