A No-Deal Brexit Must Be Avoided, Say European Food And Drink Firms
With the UK government preparing for a crucial vote later this evening on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit proposals, European food and drink firms are urging the UK to avoid a no-deal Brexit at all costs.
In a statement, FoodDrink Europe, which represents food and beverage manufacturers as well as food industry institutions in Brussels, said that the exit of the UK from the EU without a deal will ' inevitably lead to significant trade disruption and a lose-lose situation for the entire agri-food chain'.
It said that in the event of a no-deal exit, 'burdensome and unavoidable procedures' relating to the flow of goods and imposition of tariffs would lead to increased delays and checks at borders, and increased costs for products coming in and out of the UK.
Integrated Supply Chain
In 2017, agri-food exports to the UK totalled €41 billion, while UK exports to the EU were valued at €17 billion, which it said reflects the 'degree of integration and complexity' of the food supply chain across Europe.
'Agri-food operators across the EU27, and in the UK, as well as the relevant competent authorities will need sufficient time to adapt to the new conditions that Brexit poses,' the group said.
'A transition period is therefore vital for operators and authorities alike to suitably prepare and adjust. It is important that during this period, the UK would continue to abide by existing EU regulations governing food production and to honour its existing commitments'.
In closing, the group reiterated that a 'no-deal Brexit would be hugely damaging for both the UK and EU agri-food sector and must be avoided at all costs'.
A vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal is expected at 7pm tonight in the House of Commons.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.