Food industry leaders call for swift progress on trade talks

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Policy makers have been urged to make swift progress on the next round of Brexit trade talks
Policy makers have been urged to make swift progress on the next round of Brexit trade talks

Related tags European union United kingdom Food and drink federation

Food industry leaders on both sides of the English Channel have urged British and EU policy makers to make rapid progress on Brexit trade talks.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the European food and drink manufacturers’ representative FoodDrinkEurope issued a joint statement today (December 13) on the progress of the talks, ahead of the European Council meeting to be held tomorrow (December 14).

“The food and drink industry on both sides of the Channel now calls on policy makers for swift progress on both future trade relations and the transition period to generate more certainty, as negotiations enter the next phase,”​ said the joint statement.

Keeping the status quo for as long as necessary

“This means keeping the status quo for as long as necessary, allowing existing trade and customs arrangements to continue largely unchanged until a new trade agreement enters into force.”

Both organisations welcomed recent progress towards concluding first stage of the Brexit talks and the momentum it created for stage two.

“We would encourage members of the European Council to follow the recommendation from the European Commission that there has been ‘sufficient progress’ to now proceed to the next phase of negotiations,”​ according to the statement.

‘Next phase of negotiations’

FoodDrinkEurope and the FDF looked forward to contributing further talks and highlighting topics that will need clarification in the next phase of the Brexit talks.

Last week, former minister of state at the Department for International Trade Lord Mark Price predicted that the UK would go on to achieve a successful trading deal​ with the EU, following the last-minute deal to conclude the first phase of the Brexit negotiations.

Meanwhile, FoodDrinkEurope represents Europe’s largest manufacturing sector, which encompasses 289,000 companies –  99% of which are small to medium-sized enterprises – and 4.2M employees.

In September, the organisation warned the European Commission to resist the renationalisation of food policies​, such as country of origin labelling measures.


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