Brexit has changed many things for UK food and farming. One of the biggest changes is the ambiguous, shifting regulatory landscape we now find ourselves in. Whilst ‘regulation’ may not sound like the most exhilarating topic, it is deeply embedded in everything we do about food.

From fisheries and agriculture, to retail, advertising, trade, innovation and technology – regulation plays a vitally important role, often behind the scenes. Some 4,000 pieces of EU regulation are currently at stake in what has been evocatively coined the “bonfire of regulation”. What could this mean?

Over the next six months, the Food Ethics Council will be exploring regulation and deregulation – both heavily loaded terms that fire up all sorts of preconceptions. We’ll be asking some key questions such as, what types of regulation are essential for fair food systems? When are regulations ‘common sense protections’ and when are they unnecessary? Who does regulation benefit, and who does it harm? We will hold several events to explore this topic, from Business Forums to our popular Food Policy on Trial events.

As part of this project, we have become a supporter of Unchecked UK. Unchecked UK make the case for common sense protections which help keep people safe, and are building a network of diverse organisations across the UK who see sensible, properly-enforced protections as the framework for a decent society.

Insights & Opinion

Long read

EU deregulation: A political objective and a moral enterprise

Trustee Ralph Early sheds light on the ambiguous, shifting landscape of regulation

Ralph Early
2 Feb 2023