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12 July 2018

FDF response to Brexit White Paper

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Responding to the Brexit White Paper, Ian Wright CBE, FDF Chief Executive, said:
"The UK Government is right to make no-friction trade with our most important trading partner its number one Brexit priority; it is extremely encouraging that the White Paper seeks to do so. Our food and drink manufacturers rely upon integrated supply chains, with ingredients and finished products crossing UK and EU borders frequently – nowhere more so than to and from the Republic of Ireland.

"It is positive that Government has heeded the consequences of friction for food and farming and for UK food security. Several senior Ministers have acknowledged the role FDF and our members' advocacy played in shaping the proposals. The paper begins to address some of the most concerning issues for manufacturers, such as rules of origin, however there is a lot further to go. As highlighted in FDF’s recent report, Government must grasp the impact rules of origin pose for globalised supply chains and include a joint exemption to all imports originating from Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

We also need to understand much more about how the common rulebook will work in practice. Businesses and consumers urgently need clarity and confidence in the process for both following and deviating from EU rules. It is welcome that the UK will seek to participate and influence EU technical committees and have access to RASFF, but many questions still remain around our valued relationship with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

"The devil is in the detail. FDF will insist that the proposals support the competitiveness of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector and enable us to continue to deliver a fantastic range of food and drink to shoppers all year round."

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