The 'Single Market' is more than a free trading area, where you can trade without tariff barriers (ie taxes on food). The Single Market also sets up 'non-tariff barriers with the outside world. These are health and environmental standards, called phytosanitary standards. In order to do this (under WTO law) we - in the EU, have also to fulfill these standards. It then means we can move food round the EU without any barriers or checks - as we know any food is of a proper standard.
Much of the muttering about 'Brussels' bureaucrats was to do with these standards - e.g the straight banana - a classic euromyth. Yet we are now saying we can easily cope with them. See Standards for more
Animal WelfareMPs reject 'animal sentience' in EU (Withdrawl) Bill. Under EU law, animals are recognised as beings which feel pain and emotions. 80% of current animal welfare legislation comes from the EU. While most EU law relating to animals will be automatically brought over into UK law, this may not apply to the recognition of sentience. The British Vets Association said "this action undermines the Government’s previous promises that the UK will continue to be known for our high standards of animal health and welfare post-Brexit." HOWEVER!!! Environment Minister Gove says government will retain 'sentience' - that rejection of New Clause 30 was because it was faulty - not to do with sentience. He has introduced the Animal Welfare Bill and could back Teresa Villiers who wants parliamentary debate to stop export of live sheep and cattle following Brexit- that EU insists on as a part of 'free movement'. Latest on 'Sentience' bill Feb 18. Labour Party have 'Plan for Animal Welfare', which would be best achieved by staying in the EU, but they do not want to say that. Tell you MP we don't want to drop food standards
Geographic Indications (GIs)GIs protect specialised foods like Melton Mowbray pies, stopping others copying them. Brussels has managed to negotiate the recognition of a number of GIs in the framework of the CETA trade treaty with Canada, and is taking the same path in negotiations with South American trading block Mercosur. So hopefully the EU will recognise our GIs..
Sanitary MeasuresRise in Veterinary Certifications. BVA say "new trade agreements for meat and agricultural products like milk, gelatine and hay could trigger a significant increase in the number of veterinary certifications needed, requiring many more vets to perform this role."
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), a reference organisation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has recognised veterinary services and certification as “fundamental” for food safety. (Full report to EFRA). if the UK is treated as a'third' country, it will have to provide evidence of proper safety procedures when dealing with the EU. (However - despite people saying 'we will play by WTO rules', we are not yet in the WTO. We have to join - as a new member.)
Once out of the EU we will be automatically classed as a 'third country', so under EU "food law ", exports from here to the EU of any "food of animal origin" will be "prohibited unless certain requirements are met". To combat the potential shortage in veterinary capacity, BVA is also calling on the Government to guarantee working rights for non-British EU vets and veterinary nurses currently working and studying in the UK. This is because we have run down our veterinary training provisions in this country, so only 70% UK trained, down from 78% in 2010. While hard to define, 'veterinary research' has declined over 5% since the millennium according to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
The UK has been responsible/strong hand in many of the EU standards for harmonisation of food and farming. Perhaps most famous is the Habitats Directive 2006 that stops developers from building on land with certain protected species - like great crested newts. The prime UK mover in that Directive was Stanley Johnson - Boris Johnson's dad., although the UK government in 2015 didn't seem to bothered about weakening its remit.