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2 March 2018

Food and Drink Federation response to the Prime Minister's Mansion House Brexit speech

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FDF has issued the following press notice:

Food and Drink Federation response to the Prime Minister's Mansion House Brexit speech

Ian Wright CBE, FDF Director General said:

“Food and drink is at the heart of our national security - the first duty of the Government is to ensure the country is fed and watered. The UK's consumers and shoppers – as well as its 7000 food and drink manufacturers – therefore cannot afford any 'cliff edge' scenario which affects our ability to provide the country with the choice, quality and availability of food and drink they have come to expect and enjoy.

“It must be the Government's priority to lock down a status quo transition period at this month's European Council. Only that will avoid disruption to the nation's food supply and to our sector's success and long-term investment.

“UK food and drink's supply chains and regulatory relationships with the EU27 are deeply integrated. The continued success of food and drink as the UK's largest and most vibrant manufacturing sector depends on our ability to trade ingredients and finished goods barrier-free, friction-free and tariff-free across borders. The EU is our largest customer, buying 70% of our food and drink exports. On the island of Ireland people, ingredients and finished products cross the border multiple times every day and a solution that ensures this continues must urgently be found. The Prime Minister has set out her unique vision for open trade and proposed new customs arrangements with the EU. However, this depends on technology and goodwill – neither of which can be guaranteed in the time available.

“The Prime Minister is right to highlight the UK's high standards of food safety. There is no greater priority for our industry than the safety, quality and authenticity of UK food and drink. Nor can we afford to disrupt trade with our most important markets. We therefore need the minimum possible future divergence in those standards.”

More information

Contact Ella Stanbrook, Corporate Affairs Division, at:, or 02074207131.

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