News article

29 June 2018

FDF response to today's European Council meeting

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Responding to today's European Council, Ian Wright, Chief Executive of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said:

"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. 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.

"The prolonged uncertainty over the Irish border is of huge concern. Ingredients, finished products and people travel freely between NI and the Republic several times a day. Agrifood and drink makes up the majority of all goods traded across the UK's only land border with the EU. We need the UK and the EU27 to redouble their efforts to strike a realistic solution. We must also see headway in negotiations with those countries with which EU has negotiated a trade deal. 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. As Ministers come together next week, we are calling on them to put differences to one side and prioritise a relationship which puts seamless trade with the EU, with no new technical or regulatory barriers, at its heart. 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."

For Information

Contact Skye Oudemans, Corporate Affairs Division, at:, or 02074207120.

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