The UK’s listed status application has been agreed by European Union (EU) Member States after it met the animal health and biosecurity assurances required for a third country to export live animals and animal products.
The agreement on Britain’s listed status is part of the EU’s published no deal contingency planning. It means that the movement of animal products and live animals between the UK and the EU will continue to take place in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU on April 12th.
The British Food and Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley said: “This is good news for UK businesses. It demonstrates our very high standards of biosecurity and animal health which we will continue to maintain after we leave the EU.
“If you or your business import or export animal and animal products or imports high risk food then I urge you to visit our guidance pages on gov.uk for what you need to do to be ready to continue to trade post-Brexit.
“Our top priority remains delivering a negotiated deal, but it is the job of a responsible Government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.
Following the announcement BHA executive director Will Lambe said: "This decision on listing from the European Union is extremely welcome, and reflects the UK's high health standards in respect of its animals, and of course the thoroughbred population within this.
"It provides important clarity for the racing and breeding sector before a potential no-deal departure from the EU this Friday, which remains the default outcome ahead of this evening's European Council summit."
At present the movement of racehorses and breeding stock between Britain, Ireland and France is allowed under the Tripartite Agreement - but following Brexit that will no longer apply. Should the UK be granted an extension to the Brexit process, third country status would need to be applied for again at a later date.
Lambe went on to say: "While it would have been preferable for the EU to commit to continuing with the current systems and the Tripartite Agreement for thoroughbred movement in the event of no deal - as the UK has done - we have at least avoided a deeply damaging situation whereby horses would be prevented from travelling to or back to the EU.
"We continue to hope that a deal can be reached, but at the same time encourage all in the industry to be prepared for a potential no-deal outcome, and to refer to the detailed information on the BHA website as to what steps they should be taking."