Taking back control of our biosecurity and borders

22nd March 2023, 6:00 pm




Nigel Benwell

ex Chief of Staff at Defra Biosecurity, Borders and Trade

Taking back control of our biosecurity and borders

On 1st January 2020, the United Kingdom took back responsibility for its own borders and the biosecurity of Great Britain.  Since then, the Government has delayed the implementation of import controls for European goods on three separate occasions with a new implementation date yet to be announced.  Does Defra and Government have the capability to design, develop and implement a new import control regime fit for the 21st century at pace?


Nigel Benwell is a former Army officer with extensive operations and planning experience. He was the programme director for the UK’s flagship Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Kabul and led the logistical planning for operations in Libya and the Middle East.  He now specialises in providing crisis management and strategic planning advice to Government and industry.  He has worked with Defra on its Future Farming and Countryside Programme and in contingency preparations for a No Deal exit from the EU. 

He has just finished another two year stint with Defra, as Chief of Staff of the Biosecurity, Borders and Trade programme, responsible for ensuring the UK’s readiness to meet EU controls, and delivering a new UK import control regime.