Brexit concern for European plant business

Plant companies express Plant Variety Rights and plant movement concerns around Brexit.

Plants For Europe owner Graham Spencer
Plants For Europe owner Graham Spencer

Plants For Europe owner Graham Spencer said he actively campaigned for a Remain vote in last week’s referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, but he has a plan to deal with Brexit.

He added: "We cannot deny that we are disappointed by the outcome of the vote. However, we must accept the circumstances as they are and work to maintain and extend the success of our business by serving our customers and the plants that we represent in the best way possible.

"At the moment, the UK remains a member of the European Union. European Union law continues to be in force in the UK, including all laws related to Plant Variety Rights. Holders of Plant Variety Rights can expect that royalties should continue to be paid, subject to the current economic volatility. EU Plant Variety Rights continue to be legally enforceable throughout the 28 member states of the EU, including all parts of the UK.

"In the medium and long term, we should expect some changes to Plant Variety Rights, particularly in the UK. However, we do not yet know what those changes might be. Plants For Europe is already in contact with the Horticultural Trades Association and other important organisations in order to promote the interests of plant breeders and to devise the best lobbying position and strategy to try and secure the best possible outcome for plant breeders. Our customers can be sure that we will do what we can to protect their interests – in fact, we may, in time, ask our customers to assist in any lobbying that is required.

"Plants For Europe had drawn up plans in advance for both possible outcomes of the referendum vote. We are already taking measures to ensure that we are still able to administer both EU Plant Variety Rights and UK Plant Breeders Rights for our customers, even if the UK does fully withdraw from the EU and is no longer part of the EU Plant Variety Rights jurisdiction. These measures do not need to be implemented immediately, as we are yet to see exactly what the British government’s policies will be. The timetable for withdrawal is unclear and, until withdrawal is completed, the UK remains within the EU Plant Variety Rights system. At the very least, we expect withdrawal will take two years and is unlikely to be completed before the end of 2018 – it may, in fact, take much longer."

Javado's Chris Campbell said: "Most people in the horticultural world I have spoken with before the vote were firmly in favour of remaining in as they recognised that the plant world was now one of interdependence across Europe.

"This allowed young plant material to flow from producers on mainland Europe to UK growers without hindrance whilst the supply of finished plants to compliment the UK production was equally as important to provide additional availability to the garden centres.

"Whilst border controls are important to all of us we do not want to find impediments coming into  place to complicate the movement of plants into or out of the UK tying us up in  red tape which may prove more difficult that we have enjoyed in recent years.

"The immediate fall of only around five per cent  in the value of the £ against the euro which is yet to settle out still leaves imported plants good value.

"However it may have a more damaging effect on long term EU imported food prices for the country which will be more far reaching for all.

"The buffer of £250 billion created by the Governor of the Bank of England is a welcome strategy to help stabilise the situation for the country as a whole."

Tillington plant buyer Andy Bunker said: "I think now it will take a year to settle down. I would not worry about currency – euro/pound or dollar/pound."

Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants said they were against Brexit because of PVR.

North One garden centre said as many of its staff were from the continent, the vote was a concern.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



These tidy evergreen trees are not just for Christmas and come in a range of shapes and sizes, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Valuable tools to combat pests and diseases, improve soils and boost nutrient levels.

Pots and containers

Pots and containers

Superior propagation products can justify extra expenditure by providing precise cell fill, optimum root development and healthy plugs, writes Sally Drury.

From The Editor - Production and retail showcase

From The Editor - Production and retail showcase

With the first entry deadlines for two of the industry's leading awards schemes looming, this is the perfect time to start thinking about which categories can best support your goals this year - and get cracking on those entries.

Seabrook on...Product showcase and valuable networking at Four Oaks

Seabrook on...Product showcase and valuable networking at Four Oaks

The Four Oaks Trade Show is a must on my calendar.

According To Edwards ... Changes large and small anticipated for UK producers

According To Edwards ... Changes large and small anticipated for UK producers

No one knows the changes that Brexit will impose on the UK over time. Some will surely be massive and they are already being guessed at. But there will be little changes too and some of those will ripple out over time to surprisingly large effect. I don't pretend to know what will happen, but it's fun to speculate.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.