Brexit impact on food safety and standards
Concerns on EU withdrawal plans.
More power and resources must be transferred to the Scottish Parliament to guarantee food safety and standards after Brexit, Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell has said.
The warning comes after the UK Government put forward plans to mitigate potential 'no deal' border delays by minimising customs checks for food and feed imports.
Speaking at a conference in Edinburgh, Mr Russell also highlighted that a 'no deal' scenario would significantly increase costs and red tape to certify Scottish produce for export.
"Public health protection is a priority in Scotland and I am deeply concerned by any suggestion that Brexit could compromise food safety.
"Staying in the EU is the best way to protect Scotland's high food standards but, if that is not possible, then all powers in devolved areas like food law must transfer directly to the Scottish Parliament.
"This must be matched by sufficient resources so we can continue to keep food safe - as well as our economy, jobs and living standards."
The Constitutional Relations Secretary was speaking at the annual Food Safety Update event held by the Royal Environmental Health Institution for Scotland (REHIS) in Edinburgh, which brings together food safety enforcers, food quality specialists and trainers.
The third package of 'no deal' Technical Notices has been published by the UK Government, outlining preparations for a 'no deal' Brexit.