Food and Drink Federation director general Ian Wright called on the Government to “lock down” a status quo transition period for Brexit to avert disruption to the UK’s food supply and the sector’s success.
“The UK’s consumers and shoppers – as well as its 7,000 food and drink manufacturers – cannot afford any ‘cliff edge’ scenario which affects our ability to provide the country with the choice, quality and availability of food and drink they have come to expect and enjoy,” said Wright.
“The UK food and drink’s supply chains and regulatory relationships with the EU27 are deeply integrated. The continued success of food and drink as the UK’s largest and most vibrant manufacturing sector depends on our ability to trade ingredients and finished goods barrier-free, friction-free and tariff-free across borders.”
[We] cannot afford any ‘cliff edge’ scenario which affects our ability to provide the country with the choice, quality and availability of food and drink they have come to expect
Ian Wright, director general, Food and Drink Federation
He also pointed out that the EU and its member states comprised the sector’s largest market by far, buying 70% of UK food and drink exports.
And he added that food safety issues would be better served by working with Europe.
“The Prime Minister is right to highlight the UK’s high standards of food safety. There is no greater priority for our industry than the safety, quality and authenticity of UK food and drink. Nor can we afford to disrupt trade with our most important markets. We therefore need the minimum possible future divergence in those standards.”