b'Adam SpeedDEALING WITH AN INNOVATION DEFICITHURDLES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE CROP PROTECTION SECTOR POST-BREXITBY: MARCEL BRUINST he seed sector on both sides of the English Channelfair to say they have been taking appropriate measures to ensure have indicated there are several challenges with Brexit.products remain available for the UK market.Companies have been preparing in different ways for when the UK becomes a third country. But it is not only the seed sectorES: HOW MUCH DOES IT MATTER IF THE UK that is affected by Brexit. In fact, all input sectors and agricultureMAINTAINS CURRENT ALIGNMENT WITH THE EU itself will suffer from the consequences of the UK leaving the EU.OR SETS ITS OWN REGULATORY PATH ON CROP To learn more about the impact of Brexit on some of the otherPROTECTION PRODUCTS?industry sectors, European Seed sat down with Adam Speed, Head of Communications at the Crop Protection Association inAS:Brexit provides the UK with a unique opportunity to demon-the UK.strate progressive leadership in promoting modern, productive and sustainable farming. It also presents an opportunity for the EUROPEAN SEED (ES): ADAM, WHAT DO YOUUK Government to consider how these products are regulated EXPECT TO BE THE MAJOR IMPACTS OF BREXITin the future and to re-establish the UK as a global leader in ON THE EU & UK AGRICULTURAL AND CROPresearch and development. PROTECTION SECTOR? Our view is that, at present, whilst the current EU environ-mental regime could be workable, the politicisation of almost ADAM SPEED (AS):One area where we have some clarity isevery recent decision on crop protection products delineates a around the withdrawal agreement, although its far from certaintrajectory that will ultimately lead to EU farmers losing access that the deal will be approved by parliament. The terms of theto most of the crop protection tools currently at their disposal. draft withdrawal agreement exclude the UK from participating inUltimately, this will lead to the EU becoming uncompetitive and any process of active substance approval or re-registration duringperhaps unable to provide a steady and reliable supply of safe, the implementation period, whether at EU level or national. affordable food.By being precluded from participating in any process ofWe feel that Brexit presents a genuine opportunity to attract active substance approval, the UK will be put in the position ofa greater share of the global crop protection R&D spend to the being 21 months behind evaluations in the EU at the actual pointUK. A Managed Divergence approach, which builds upon exist-of exit, thereby disadvantaging UK agriculture and creating aing regulation, whilst providing greater opportunities for collab-kind of innovation deficit. oration, faster decision making and greater variety, would help This presents a significant challenge to our members andrealise the benefits of that opportunity. could impact on the availability to new active substances in the UK. This approach would also maintain the current high stand-The other concern is regarding what happens in Europe.ards of protection for human health and the environment. A The UK currently delivers approximately 30% of the EU work- risk assessment and risk management-based system would be load in terms of active substance approvals and re-registrations.more in line with the rest of the world and would ensure that Increasing capacity to meet this shortfall will represent a chal- the UK would not become isolated in the global marketplace by lenge for the other 27 member states. UK-specific regulatory requirements. However, its unclear what a divergent regulatory regime would mean for trade between the ES: ARE YOUR MEMBERS PREPARED? WHAT KINDUK and EU in commodities grown using plant protection prod-OF MEASURES HAVE BEEN TAKEN AND WHY? ucts containing actives not authorised in the EU.AS:Like all responsible businesses our members have been con-tingency planning in preparation for Brexit as much as possi-ble. Our membership is diverse, with different business models,https://cropprotection.org.uk/ supply chains and product pipelines. Its not possible to comment on the different measures taken by individual companies, but its 8IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'