Senior Whitehall sources told the Daily Telegraph the UK will unilaterally agree to follow the regulations in order to protect British farming in the event of a no-deal scenario. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) cleared the plan last week after winning Cabinet approval. The move came after Environment Secretary Michael Gove warned last week there would be “no guarantee” British farmers would be able to freely export their produce to the EU after March 29 if the Prime Minister failed to get backing for her plan B deal with the EU, which would lead to a no-deal situation. This promoted Helen Browning, CEO of organic certifier the Soil Association, to write to Mr Gove expressing her concerns over how this would also affect the organic food industry.
She said: “In the event of no deal, there is the real prospect of a prolonged period during which organic exports to the EU could become impossible.
“It will be hard to win back the lost custom, and some UK businesses are already incurring costs as they take mitigating measures such as stockpiling materials.”
The plan comes amid calls from the US for Britain to open its doors to their own products such as chlorine-washed chicken, which could be the effect of a UK-US trade deal.
The UK exports £18billion of food and drink every year.
Of that, £9.4billion went to the EU compared with £1.9billion to the US.
The news, which will no-doubt infuriate Brexiteers, comes after Labour’s Yvette Cooper had her amendment pass through the House of Commons this week, which could see the Prime Minister delay Brexit by two months should she not secure a deal with Brussels.
During the debate in Parliament prior to the vote, Tories voiced their concerns about what would happen if Mrs May’s deal was rejected next month.
Tory MP Nadine Dorries said: “The consequences of not passing the deal on March 12 are too great.
“We could end up extending Article 50 and Brexit not happening.”
Sir Edward Leigh added: “If you want to avoid a damaging No Deal or no Brexit, vote for the deal.”