Comprehensive future trade deal needed – Food Drink Ireland

February 01, 2020

Food Drink Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, has said that any future trading relationship with the UK must be underpinned by a comprehensive trade deal with no tariffs, no trade and customs fees/charges and no quotas on our food and drink trade.

Paul Kelly, Director of Food Drink Ireland outlined: “With €4.5bn of Irish exports to the UK and substantial imports of raw material and intermediates, our integrated supply chains would be damaged not just by tariffs but also by regulatory divergence.

“Regulatory divergence is likely to have largest economic impact in any comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement reached under the Revised Political Declaration.”

The forthcoming negotiations must ensure:
Maximum collaboration / co-operation on food and drink regulations and standards
Regulatory co-operation should be built on by going beyond standard WTO agreements
A focus on customs co-operation to mitigate the costly burden of customs controls and procedures
Rules of origin must be designed to ensure that established trade flows in our integrated and shared supply chains can continue without major changes

He concluded “The transition period also needs to be of sufficient length for businesses to plan and prepare for any new FTA arrangements and avoid cliff edges. We cannot allow the final months of 2020 to descend in uncertainty and substantial business costs.”