Geographical Indicators after Brexit

By: Craig Prescott   Manuela Pilato  

One of the areas most affected by Brexit is food regulation. This paper considers the implications that Brexit has for one aspect of this area: geographic indicators (GIs). GIs are an essential form of consumer protection, as they provide a guarantee of quality, origin and production method. The EU provides a scheme of GIs which is applied consistently across the EU. The future application of these GIs in the UK is in doubt due to Brexit, the process by which the UK is due to leave the EU in 2019. This paper considers the various models of Brexit that have been proposed; including the UK Government's own proposed model, and how they could affect the protection of GIs in the UK, and the protection of GIs of UK foods sold in the EU. A second issue is the future protection of GIs of UK foods in countries that concluded a free trade agreement with the EU. The future of this protection not only depends on the UK's future relationship with the EU, but also on the approach taken by those countries that signed agreements with the EU. Historically, the UK has a relatively low share of GIs, which suggests a different food culture in the UK to the EU. One likely outcome is that UK Government creates its own scheme, providing equivalent protection to the existing EU scheme, creating an opportunity to establish a European food culture that failed to take root during the UK’s membership of the EU.

Food, Geographic Indications, Brexit, Food Policy, Free Trade Agreements
Food, Politics, and Cultures
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Craig Prescott

Director, Centre for Parliament and Public Law, The University of Winchester, United Kingdom
Hampshire, United Kingdom

Manuela Pilato

Senior Lecturer in Business Management, The University of Winchester Business School, United Kingdom
United Kingdom