Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that UK (a) garden centres and (b) tree and plant growers are able to trade effectively once the Border Control regime is implemented.
In April 2022, HM Government announced that it was accelerating its transformative programme to digitise Britain’s borders, harnessing new technologies and data to reduce friction and costs for businesses and consumers, while maintaining and enhancing our high standards of biosecurity.
A Target Operating Model will be published later this year which will set out how and when we will introduce this improved global regime of border controls. It will aim to create a seamless new ‘digital’ border, where technologies and real-time data will cut queues and smooth trade.
This new approach will ensure that controls for plants and plant products are implemented in a way which removes friction for businesses while safeguarding our national biosecurity.
In developing the Target Operating Model, Defra officials are engaging extensively with businesses and trade bodies, including those representing the horticulture sector, to deliver the best possible user experience for those involved with border processes.