Leaving the EU will allow Britain to respond more quickly to animal and plant health threats in future, according to Defra Minister Lord Gardiner.
The Minister made the remarks during a House of Lords committee hearing on biosecurity after Brexit last week.
He explained how the UK and Ireland had recently sought permission from the European Commission to ban unwashed potatoes from other EU member states to protect domestic growers from the threat of flea beetle.
Asked whether this had been an easy process, and whether the UK would have any more flexibility after Brexit, he said: “We will obviously not have to go through the hoop of going to the Commission and arguing our case and saying ‘please may we take special measures’ or ‘we intend to take special measures’, or whatever the tone of the negotiations were to take.
“We will be able to act more speedily and take decisions which are more finely tuned for the circumstances of this country, whether it is in climate or whether it is in producer emphasis.”
Though Lord Gardiner admitted the EU would not ‘encourage’ member states to take special measures to protect biosecurity, he added: “We achieved that measure because the force of argument was clearly strong enough for us to take national measures, and we took it in the national interest.”