CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFRA – FOOD TRANSIT ARRANGEMENTS FOR CRUISE SHIP SUPPLIES (1) [12880] - 05 February 2024

DEFRA – FOOD TRANSIT ARRANGEMENTS FOR CRUISE SHIP SUPPLIES (1) [12880] - 05 February 2024

Sir Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what biosecurity restrictions on imported foodstuffs arriving in sealed refrigerated vehicles (a) were in place prior to and (b) have been in place following the UK's departure from the European Union; and for what reason was the Border Target Operations Model introduced. [12880]

[Due for Answer on 8 February. Answered on 14 February.]

ANSWER

(The Minister of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries (Mark Spencer): When the UK left the European Union, we became responsible for designing and implementing our own border controls. The Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) is key to protecting the UK’s biosecurity and ensuring our trading partners have confidence in our standards. The longer we do not have full visibility and control over sanitary and phytosanitary imports, the greater the risks to our public health, our food and farming industries, and our natural environment. The risks of keeping imports unchecked is massive for the UK economy. For example, an African Swine Fever outbreak such as that on the continent would see stocks of pigs slaughtered and make our pork unexportable to the rest of the world. The BTOM strikes the appropriate balance between protecting the UK’s public health, food supply chains and farming industries and natural environment, and setting a pragmatic, proportionate controls regime.