'Absurd!' Britain to exploit Brexit freedoms with plan to scrap 'bendy banana' rule imposed by EU


Bananas sold in the EU need to be "free from malformation or abnormal curvature”

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 03/10/2023

- 08:06

Updated: 03/10/2023

- 11:31

Therese Coffey announced the decision to axe the rule at the Conservative Party conference yesterday

Britain will scrap an EU regulation on bendy bananas, the Environment Secretary has announced.

Therese Coffey said at the Tory Party conference that “bent or straight”, it is not for Government to decide “the shape of bananas you want to eat”.

The rules from Brussels set out standards for bananas across the EU, stating that they must be “free from malformation or abnormal curvature”.

Whilst it does not ban the sale of misshapen bananas, it does impact the price they can sell for.

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In her keynote speech yesterday (October 2), Coffey said: “We are going further to help farmers and rural businesses by making the most of our Brexit freedoms, freedom from European rules, freedom to choose what works best for Britain.

“We’ve already legislated to allow gene editing so that we can design crops that are fit for the future.

“My officials are cutting red tape and introducing smarter regulation. Frankly, bent or straight, it’s not for the Government to decide the shape of bananas you want to eat.

“I just need to assure you that they are safe to eat. So, we will be dropping absurd regulations including the one on bendy bananas,” she said at the Manchester Central Convention Complex.


The EU regulation on “bendy bananas” was not included on a list of European laws to be scrapped in the UK.

The Government had initially said that they were going to automatically repeal all EU law in the UK by the end of 2023, but in May, No10 changed their minds.

However, Coffey’s announcement in Manchester has confirmed that the regulation will indeed be axed.

The Environment Secretary said: “Our farmers produce the best food in the world to the highest animal welfare standards.”

Therese Coffey

Coffey also encouraged people to buy real British meat


In her speech, Coffey also criticised “green zealots who think our farmers should stop rearing livestock and instead we should eat fake meat”.

She said fake meat would be appropriate for astronauts but will personally be backing British-reared meat.

Her comments come after Kemi Badenoch announced an investigation into Britain’s post-Brexit freedoms.

The three-month review will aim to establish what is working and what needs improving and will do so by assessing around 90 different regulators in the UK.

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