Irish Food And Drink Body Calls For 'Decisive Steps' To Limit Brexit Impact
Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the representative group that represents the Irish food and drink sector, has called on the Irish government to implement a series of measures in the upcoming Budget that would mitigate the impact of Brexit on the sector.
The Irish government's Budget 2020 plans will be announced on 8 October, three weeks before the UK government currently plans to leave the European Union (31 October).
Launching the group's submission, Paul Kelly, FDI Director said, “Some €4.5 billion worth of food and drink exports go to the UK. In the event of a no deal Brexit and the immediate imposition of tariffs, decisive steps would need to be taken.
"Tariffs are in effect a tax on trade and commerce and FDI is calling for their recycling into a tariff stabilisation fund to offset serious damage to exports and job losses."
Kelly noted that "every Brexit scenario" paints a negative picture for the sector, and further investment will be required in production diversification, innovation, and a realignment of business models, in order to limit the impact of Brexit.
"Funds amounting to 5% of the value of current export sales to the UK will be needed annually for three years from domestic and EU sources to help Irish companies innovate, diversify into new markets, train staff and invest for the future in capital towards enabling technology, carbon efficiency, plant renewal and expansion geared to improved competitiveness," he added.
FDI's submission also calls for improvements in tax policy to support the development of indigenous enterprise, as well as an increase in funding support for higher education and enterprise-led training initiatives, and a focus on commercial rates and insurance.
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