The report focuses on how the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is preparing to exit from the EU. It is part of a series of NAO briefings on the key bodies in the centre of government and the major spending departments that have to deliver Exit programmes.

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20 December 2017

The National Audit Office has today published a briefing on how the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU. With almost all of its areas of responsibility framed by EU legislation, Defra is a key player within government negotiations on the withdrawal agreement and the future partnership with the EU.

The briefing sets out the following:

  • The scale of Defra’s task. The EU affects virtually all of Defra’s activities, which means Defra faces an extensive legislative programme. This includes two major bills to establish UK policies for agriculture and fisheries and an estimated 95 items of secondary legislation to convert EU laws into UK law.
  • How Defra has set about its task. The department has adapted its governance structures to integrate the EU exit within its existing business as usual. It has drawn up detailed plans for its highest priority work streams.
  • How Defra is working with others including arm’s-length bodies, other government departments and devolved administrations.


Publication details

Press release

View press release (20 Dec 2017)

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