The government must do more to protect agri-science in the Brexit negotiations warned Labour MEP Alex Mayer today.
Ms Mayer has received confirmation from the European Commission that future plant species testing contracts commissioned by the European agency, the Community Plant Variety Office, which might last beyond 30 March 2019 will no longer be awarded to the UK.
The decision will cost Cambridge-based NIAB around £600k per year. Ms Mayer said: “This is the reality of Brexit. It blows apart the myth that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.
"Our relationship with the EU has already changed forever - and we are losing out - that’s before we officially leave and before any ‘transition deal’.”
The decision has been taken despite NIAB being the only accredited examination centre in Europe for 678 of the 864 plant types affected.
Ms Mayer has called on the government to urgently raise the issue with the European Commission and in the Brexit talks.
Ms Mayer continued: “I don’t believe it will be possible to find the same level of scientific expertise, testing facilities and historical data elsewhere. Britain will lose out and so will all of Europe.”