Minister: Brexit trade talk extension looks advisable

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

More time seems to be needed to secure a EU-UK trade deal post-Brexit, warned Creed
More time seems to be needed to secure a EU-UK trade deal post-Brexit, warned Creed
Clinching an EU-UK trade deal by the original working deadline of October is now “a highly challenging timescale” and an extension looks advisable, according to Irish minister for agriculture, food and the marine Michael Creed.

Responding to questions at the Food and Drink Federation’s annual convention at the British Museum in London, Creed said: “We are significantly behind where we need to be in terms of this complex issue.

“It is the requirement of the UK to request an extension of the Article 50 process and if we don’t make progress by the October deadline, it’s up to the UK to request an extension. I would hope that would not become a problem.”

Ireland stronger within the EU

Creed said he believed Ireland was stronger within the EU. “The UK has made a different democratic choice – one we regret, but one we very much respect.” ​He stressed that he thought the concept of a no-deal Brexit was “the worst outcome for everybody”.

Labour MP Hilary Benn, chairman of the cross-party Brexit committee, told convention delegates: “The Cabinet is still debating what kind of customs agreement we should have and time is running out.”

At Food Manufacture’s​ Food Safety Conference in Birmingham on 21 June, speaker Nils Bings, partner and head of food law and regulatory compliance at DWF, said any divergence from EU Food Information to Consumers Regulations after Brexit could cost food firms £1,800 for minor changes to labelling or up to £3,000 for major ones.

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