News article

22 April 2018

FDF response to BEIS Committee Report: The impact of Brexit on the processed food and drink sector

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FDF Chief Executive Ian Wright CBE said:

“As the UK's largest manufacturing sector, food and drink has prospered from easy access to European markets for valuable imports and exports. The report from the BEIS Committee is an extremely valuable contribution to the debate about the UK's future trading relationship with the EU, highlighting important areas we must get right on trade, exports, workforce, regulation and R&D to ensure the sector's continued success.

“Any increased friction as a result of physical checks or paperwork at borders will prove costly for the entire supply chain and cause short-term disruption for businesses, consumers and shoppers. We echo the Committee's call to Government for increased customs capacity and support for businesses of all sizes to navigate the changes ahead. The proposed transition length is briefer than we believe would be optimum and Government must review how 'readiness' is progressing.

“We particularly welcome the Committee's focus on the challenges facing the industry regarding the island of Ireland. FDF supports Government in its efforts to find the right technology to avoid a hard border and any customs or phytosanitary checks. However, time is running out when it comes to finding a credible, technological solution and the option of a regulatory backstop must be left on the table.”

Contact Ted Woodward, Corporate Affairs Division, at:, or +44 (0) 20 7420 7140.

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