b'Brexit Concernsfor some time with regard to plant variety protection, varietyIn general, we know that UK agriculture is at a high level of registration and maintenance. This has necessitated obtainingprofessionalization with high productivity but for global com-parallel registrations and preparing for UK national PVP in par- petitiveness to be maintained in the context of environmental-allel to EU PVP following Brexit, he reports. Of course, thesely-responsible farming, adjustments to government support and measures add considerable cost and administrative burden onunderlying asset values such as land are likely. So, we can expect both sides of the border.UK arable land to remain in productive agriculture, albeit with Marian Suelmann, company lawyer at seed firm Rijkan adapted economic framework. We can then also assume that Zwaan, notes that because her company operates internation- demand for high-performing varieties and breeding innovation ally, it deals with third countries every day, and therefore if theremain key elements of UK agricultural future.UK becomes a third country, it will not create unsurmountable problems. In general, it seems clear that import and export ofBREEDING INNOVATION POST-BREXIT, IN THE EU seed, plant material and produce gets more complicated andAND THE UKthis might have consequences for where companies will pro- Whether leadership in the UK will maintain the countrys cur-duce she adds. rent regulatory alignment for GMOs and NBTs with the EU after In terms of other Brexit preparations, two years ago RijkBrexit, or choose to forge its own new regulatory path, remains Zwaan started to apply for double PBR protection, both at UKto be seen. Duczmal is hopeful that the UK will align with the level as at EU level. In addition, we reported varieties that areEU, finding ways to use NBTs effectively but not using GMOs. on the EU Common Catalogue and that are also being sold in theIf the UK does start using GMOs, Elmegaard believes that UK to the UK authorities for inclusion in the UK national list,in theory the country might gain advantages over EU countries, says Suelmann. Furthermore, stocks have been increased atbut that it also will certainly have to deal with trade barriers our UK subsidiary to overcome problems at the customs level.with the EU. For its part, Plantum of the Netherlands has preparedRegarding the Netherlands specifically, Louwaars observes for Brexit by conducting training courses (for members whothat if the UK becomes very liberal in approving GMOs for cul-are new to exports outside the EU) on dealing with phyto andtivation, the cultivation of field crops there might increase. This customs rules and has also urged certification agencies toin turn might negatively affect exports of Netherlands potato hire additional inspectors. Plantum Managing Director Niels(and with time, turf) seed to the UK. Louwaars adds that he and the Dutch authorities have createdFor his part, Moore believes that UK policy divergence on solutions for acute variety registration issues and made sureGMOs is more likely in the event of a hard Brexit scenario, and that breeders rights were on the early agenda of negotiators.might also be favoured if the US government makes overtures In Ukraine, because its economic integration to the EUrelating to agricultural trade issues. This can of course lead is still occurring, a separate bilateral agreement with the UKto additional requirements for export of GMO feed to the EU in will be needed if Brexit occurs. Seed Association of Ukrainethe same way as other third countries, which would need to be Executive Director Siuzana Grygorenko notes that UK farmersconsidered, he explains. However, commodity GMO crops for may be interested in seeds of cereal crops (wheat, barley andfeed production (for example, grain maize and soybeans) are not oats) either bred in Ukraine or produced there by foreign com- cultivated in the UK due to the climate, and therefore whilst the panies such as German or France-based firms. regulatory regime might be more receptive to innovation, oppor-Van Laecke lists another couple of possible problems result- tunities for large scale GMO production in UK are rather limited. ing from Brexit, one being volatility between the pound sterlingMoore adds that crops such as wheat for example, are a and the Euro, and the other, future authorization of seed treat- long way away from widespread GMO cultivation due to being a ments in the UK which are not allowed in Europe. Grygorenkoglobally traded human consumption commodity and therefore notes another possible Brexit issue to be long-term access toup-front R&D investment economically generating returns from plant protection products. The UK has had a leading role, shedomestic UK markets alone is hard to imagine outside of espe-notes, in the related regulatory work.cially high value applications.In terms of crop markets in the UK, Moore believes manyTo achieve a level playing field worldwide we aim for har-factors come into consideration after Brexit that can influencemonisation on many issues. Therefore, we hope also hope for crop production for both domestic and export demand for exam- as much as possible alignment between UK and EU legislation ple, trading relationships with the USA, the EU, and possiblesays Suelmann.WTO tariffs. He points out that demand for domestic meat/ Van Laecke, Henriksson and Elmegaard have another con-milk and grains for feed are all influenced by global tradingcern relating to the UK possibly allowing the creation of GMOs economics, trade deals and whatever form the UK agricultureand differing use of NBTs compared to the EU following Brexit. policy will take if it diverges from CAP.They are concerned that would result in EU seed company Today, these influences are impossible to predict, he says.research labs being moved to the UK. If such an eventuality This uncertainty is also reflected in commodity markets andoccurs, Elmegaard warns that the European breeding commu-futures prices which seem not to take any indicative position.nity, farmers and consumers/society will all be left behind.EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 7'