Spencer warns on Brexit ahead of Four Oaks

Dutch exhibitors at Four Oaks trade show (6-7 September) will still be asking what Brexit means for them 10 weeks after the referendum vote for the UK to leave the EU, says Plants for Europe's Graham Spencer.

Graham Spencer
Graham Spencer

Spencer said many people are saying Brexit will be all fine but that was a premature view, "and Brexit is not in any way resolved".

He added ahead of the Four Oaks Trade show, which will feature more than 200 overseas exhibitors among its 450 stands: "The Dutch are asking what does Brexit mean for us? Will we still be able to sell in the same way? There are more questions than answers at the moment."

He said exchange rates have come back to become comparable to two or three years ago and though they were a "shock at the time" and will be particularly bade for anyone who made a business forecast made on May’s rate, "for most people trading with the Continent, there is no change".

On Plant Variety Rights Spencer said the "assumption is there will be two systems, one for the 27 EU states and one for the UK. And because of the cost of UK rights growers would set up on the Continent and export to the UK, for cutting-raised annuals especially".

The HTA has been pushing for import substitution, but that "is a myth for a lot of plants," Spencer added, "because we don't have the production facilities in the UK and for new varieties breeders say why protect them on both sides of the channel? For trees, yes, for annuals and perennials, it's a disaster."

Spencer said new European plant health regulations will be more than adequate and will have to be adhered by in the UK for imports and exports, but "we need more bodies on the ground from Fera. We will still be bound by European plant health regualtions for imports and exports but any new UK rules will be worthless unless better enforced."

  • Follow the latest news and updates from the show in Horticulture Week's Four Oaks LiveBlog.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

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

Pest & Disease Management - Adjuvants

Pest & Disease Management - Adjuvants

Adjuvants are substances that can be added to the spray tank to modify a pesticide and/or spray mixture's performance.



These long-flowering thistle-like daisies are well worth a go for consistent interest in the border, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Show Preview: HTA National Plant Show 2017

Show Preview: HTA National Plant Show 2017

Leading British growers will be showcasing their latest offerings at this year's trade plant show at Stoneleigh Park, writes Matthew Appleby.

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

At the time of writing - a few days after the general election - sterling has weakened and we still have no idea of what Brexit means.

Seabrook On... Refocus needed at Chelsea

Seabrook On... Refocus needed at Chelsea

The president of the RHS was wise to avoid the traditional comment at the Monday lunch that "this is the best Chelsea show ever".

Editorial ... Garden industry prospects and election pledges

Editorial ... Garden industry prospects and election pledges

After a disappointing rain-hit May, the garden industry will be heading into this weekend's second key bank holiday period buoyed by better weather - and a final boost for sales from publicity surrounding the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

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.