The European Parliament has today approved a Resolution on the framework of the future relationship between the EU and UK, post Brexit. This comes ahead of the negotiations on the long term relationship, where the Parliament will have a final say.
The Resolution  clearly sets out the conditions that the Parliament needs to see in any final deal in order for MEPs to grant their approval. Crucially, thanks to the efforts of several Members of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, and Eurogroup for Animals, the Resolution contains strong provisions on animal welfare, namely:
- A requirement for the UK to adhere to animal health and welfare rules (as a minimum) in order to create a level playing field;
- that access to the EU market on agricultural products will be conditional on compliance with EU animal welfare standards, and;
- that there should be adequate preparedness for agricultural products – ensuring that even in the event of ‘no deal’, there will be sufficient plans in place to ensure traceability and guarantee the origin of animal based products to ensure compliance with animal welfare rules.
Welcoming the measures contained in the Parliament’s Resolution today, Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals, said:
“After Brexit, British farmers could easily be caught between a regulatory rock and and an economic hard place: Whilst we are encouraged that the British Government has stated that animal welfare will be a priority, and that they will only seek to raise standards, rhetoric has to stand up to reality. After all, the UK is simultaneously keen to brandish its willingness to make trade agreements with countries around the world that have far lower standards of animal welfare, and that threaten to undercut higher welfare producers within Great Britain.
At the same time, it is clear that EU citizens, who only want to see higher animal welfare across the board, do not want European standards to be endangered or undermined in any way. This is why we welcome this Resolution from the Parliament, which at the very least seeks to ensure that the EU standards will act as a basis for the future relationship’’.
Britain has rightly earned a reputation as a beacon for animal welfare within the EU and beyond. Eurogroup for Animals now hopes that this Resolution will inform the negotiations to come, and that together, the UK and EU can leverage higher standards of animal welfare, driving each other in turn, and influencing the standards of other countries around the world too. We will now work with Member States and colleagues in the UK to achieve this ambitious end.
Lucy Mathieson, Communications Officer, Eurogroup for Animals, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org