Brexit must maintain access to import and export markets, demands FDF’s Wright
4 Jul 2018
Food and Drink Federation (FDF) chief executive Ian Wright has repeated his warning to Government that it is essential a deal is reached on terms for British withdrawal from the European Union.
“The lack of concrete progress at this crucial stage in the Brexit negotiations is very disappointing. The success of the UK’s £112 billion food and drink supply chain hinges upon manufacturers having easy access to vital imported ingredients and to export markets,” said Wright.
“Remarkably, businesses are still unclear what arrangements they will face in March 2019 – let alone the end destination for our future trading relationship or the compatibility of food regulations with the EU.”
He warned that continued uncertainty over the Irish border was of huge concern and pointed out that agrifood and drink makes up the majority of all goods traded across what is the UK’s only land border with the EU.
Remarkably, businesses are still unclear what arrangements they will face in March 2019 – let alone the end destination for our future trading relationship
Ian Wright, chief executive, FDF
Wright called on the UK and the EU27 to redouble their efforts to strike a “realistic” solution, adding that negotiations with those countries with which EU has negotiated a trade deal were also essential.
“Not only are they worth more than 10% of the UK’s export market in food and drink, but they are an essential source of raw materials which cannot be sourced here. Any disruption in supply is a serious concern for the competitiveness of UK manufacturers. The threat of a hidden hard Brexit arising from damaging rules of origin remains a major concern for food and drink manufacturers.
“Our food and drink supply chains are fragile and highly interdependent. We take food security for granted at our peril. Only a good Brexit deal will give UK consumers and shoppers continued access to an incredible array of food and drink, available at all price points.”