I would like to reassure you that our rules on neonicotinoids and other pesticides remain the same as they were before we left the EU, and the Government has no intention of relaxing them. The Government recognises the effects that the use of some pesticides can have on pollinators, and their use remains tightly restricted.
Neonicotinoids can only be used in the UK or the EU in exceptional circumstances for short periods, subject to an emergency authorisation that imposes strict conditions on their use, to ensure that pollinators and the wider ecosystem are protected. Emergency authorisations are only granted if the applicant can demonstrate that the pesticide’s use will be limited and controlled, and that the necessary protection of people and of the environment can be achieved. Since 2018, ten EU member states, plus the UK, have granted emergency authorisations for neonicotinoid seed treatments.
Protecting pollinators remains a priority for the Government, and many local authorities that have taken action to make their area greener and more welcoming for bees and other pollinators. In 2014, the Government published the National Pollinator Strategy, which sets out what it, conservation groups, farmers, beekeepers and researchers can do to improve the status of pollinating insect species.