The UK's trading standards system is not yet ready for a 'no deal' Brexit, the Head of Policy at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute has warned.
Craig McClue’s comment followed publication of the No-Deal Readiness Report by the Department for Exiting the European Union.
The CTSI highlighted the following statement in the report: "The trading standards and regulatory services system would transition into UK law from EU law. While this would not cause significant change, local councils would no longer have access to EU databases."
The CTSI’s McClue said: "In the advent of 'no deal' the legal and regulatory system in the UK will face substantial, overnight changes. That brings many risks, not least because the legal provisions for retained EU law are untested.
“A further point is that many trading standards services are not yet fully trained on new conformity assessment procedures and markings. We would much prefer an orderly Brexit with a transition period that allows major changes to bed in."
He added: "We are simply not confident that the UK's trading standards system is 'no deal' ready. Trading standards officer numbers have been cut by more than 50% in under a decade, and service capacity is far below what it should be to deal with sudden shocks and changes to our regulatory system."