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 20 mar 2019 12:05 

Agri-food chain underlines need for certainty as Brexit approaches

One week ahead of the potential date of the UK leaving the EU and before a crucial meeting of the European Council, Copa and Cogeca, CELCAA and FoodDrinkEurope, on behalf of the EU agri-food chain would like to reiterate their concerns regarding a no-deal.

The agri-food sector would certainly be one of the sectors most impacted by a non-orderly Brexit, due to its complex and highly integrated supply chains, its just-in-time processing and its dependence on perishable products. It will ultimately be consumers in both the UK and the EU27 however, that will bear the brunt of Brexit, with disruption in access to the food they enjoy and, in some cases, that they need.
The current context of uncertainty is very prejudicial to the EU and UK agri-food sectors. The extension of Article 50 beyond 29th March could help the sector to prepare better for Brexit, but it should be granted by the Heads of State and Government only if it contributes to deliver a more orderly withdrawal, therefore providing predictability to operators.
The EU agri-food chain reiterates that the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on the future relationship, as negotiated, represent the best way forward for our sector. Failing acceptance of this agreement, Copa and Cogeca, CELCAA and FoodDrinkEurope will continue to call on the EU Institutions to adopt appropriate unilateral contingency measures specific to the sector and to introduce market measures to mitigate the extremely negative impacts.
Finally, we urge both sides to agree rapidly on the future EU-UK relationship, and thereby provide clarity and certainty for businesses.

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