Brussels in Brief: 14th - 18th October 2019
Friday, 18 October, 2019
Third country approval for UK exports of animals and animal-based products
On 11th October the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF), voted to approve the UK as a third country for the export of animals and animal-based products, such as meat, eggs and dairy products, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This means the UK has met the necessary biosecurity measures for animal health and food hygiene required by the EU of third countries.
As a result of this approval, live animals and products of animal origin would be able to enter the EU if the UK left without a deal. However, there would still be a need for them to do so through a Border Inspection Post (BIP) and accompanied by the relevant paperwork including export health certificates (EHC’s). We are now waiting for the Commission to publish the full legal texts, including the updated list of BIP’s. Following this approval UK government has updated its guidance for animal importers and exporters, this includes end to end journey maps.
Delays in the von der Leyen Commission
The European Parliament has rejected three of the Commissioner-designates for the new commission team. Romanian candidate Rovana Plumb, nominee for the transport portfolio, and Hungarian candidate László Trócsányi, nominee for the enlargement portfolio, were both rejected by the EP’s Legal Affairs Committee on 26th September, citing conflicts of interest. It is unclear when Romania may put forward a new candidate due to their governing coalition having collapsed on 10th October.
The Hungarian government announced Olivér Várhelyi as its next Commissioner-designate on 1st October. French nominee for the EU’s internal market and industrial policy portfolio, Sylvie Goulard, was also rejected by MEPs as it was claimed she failed to sufficiently explain allegations of financial misconduct.
French President, Emmanuel Macron, met with the new European Commission president, Mrs von der Leyen, on 14th October but there is no news as yet, on the nomination of a new French commissioner. It is also unclear if the portfolios will remain the same for the next nominees that are put forward.
This means that the new Commission team will not take office on 1st November as planned, as getting three replacement candidates vetted and confirmed by Parliament is not possible before the end of October. The next ordinary meeting for Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee is scheduled for 6th November and it is predicted that the new Commission will take office on the first week of December at the earliest. If there is a no-deal Brexit on 31st October duties will remain with current European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and the current commissioner team.