Brexit and Food Crisis Take Central Stage at CIEH Annual Conference

Publication Date: 7th December 2017

Subject: CIEH

Brexit and a potential crisis over UK food standards and imports and exports took central stage today, as the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) held its annual flagship Year Ahead conference.

The conference is primarily for those working in Environmental Health and Trading Standards and brings together senior stakeholders from Business and Government to debate, discuss, and develop future strategies.

Attendees at the conference, consisting of key note speeches, workshops, and panel debates, heard that Brexit was the biggest issue for UK food since the Second World War, and that the current state of political instability was adding further uncertainty to such a vital issue.

Although 31% of the UK’s food comes from the EU, the state of UK food imports and exports after Brexit has been largely neglected by politicians across the political spectrum, and has barely featured in Brexit discussions.    

The key question of food and environmental standards in the UK after Brexit was highlighted, with the widespread confusion over whether the UK would follow EU, US, or WTO being raised as a deeply worrying issue for the industry.

The journalist, Polly Toynbee, one of the key note speakers, told attendees that there was a real danger of a tsunami of deregulation post-Brexit and that the invisible services that keep us safe are being dangerously reduced.

Tony Lewis, Head of Policy at CIEH, said:

“This year’s conference was a great opportunity for anyone interested in environmental health, trading standards, Brexit, and regulation, to come and talk to, and hear from, an amazing set of speakers.

The issues covered today are of great importance to not only the British food industry, but consumers across the UK who are concerned about rising food prices and the safety of what they eat.

These vital issues need to be heard by government, and CIEH will be playing a central role in this mission going forwards.”


Notes to editors 

The conference was held at 15 Hatfields, London, SE1 8DJ

Further information and a full programme is available here:

For enquiries or to confirm attendance, please contact Ross Matthewman, Public Affairs and PR Manager, on 02078275922 or 

About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):   

The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing more than 8,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved. 

Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. The CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.  

For more information visit and follow the CIEH on Twitter @The_CIEH



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