Balance of competences review

The Government is carrying out a review of the balance of competences between the European Union (EU) and the UK. This is an audit of what the EU does and how it affects the UK.

The Food Standards Agency led on the Animal Health and Welfare and Food Safety review in the first semester (Autumn 2012 – Summer 2013) alongside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. A key question for this review was whether the benefits to the UK of protecting consumers and the functioning of the internal market justify the high level of EU competence in this area.

The FSA published its call for evidence on 27 November 2012 and received 64 pieces of formal written evidence from a broad range of respondents. Further evidence was collected from a total of eight workshops held in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Brussels. This evidence was drawn on to produce a wide ranging and balanced analysis of the EU’s ability to act, the impact that EU action has on the UK national interest and future challenges. The Agency was not asked to produce specific recommendations, but to produce a document that will ground the national debate in facts and aid future policy making.

The Animal Health and Welfare and Food Safety report is being published by the Government as one of a set of six reports from the first semester of the Balance of Competences Review. You can view the reports, the evidence submitted and further information about the review via the 'GOV.UK' link.