Brexit: Spirits Europe calls for ‘urgent resolution’

Trade body Spirits Europe has called for an “urgent resolution” regarding outstanding Brexit issues, arguing a ‘no deal’ scenario would be “extremely detrimental” to the industry.

Brexit Spirits Europe
Spirits Europe has warned a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be “extremely detrimental” to the spirits industry

The UK is set to leave the EU in March 2019 with a transition period currently proposed to last until the end of 2020.

UK prime minister Theresa May is attending a summit of EU leaders in Brussels this week, but is yet to reach a final agreement on the nation’s departure.

Spirits Europe has said the Withdrawal Agreement should secure rules and processes to avoid a hard border with Ireland, while limiting barriers to the UK’s internal market.

It also stressed that the agreement should “secure continuity in commercial relations with third countries”, but said it appreciates that neither the UK government nor European Commission would be able to unilaterally secure the continued benefits of the EU’s preferential trade agreements with third countries for the UK post-Brexit.

“We emphasise that a transition period is necessary to allow for negotiation with third countries over the continuation of these agreements,” Spirits Europe continued. “We also call on the EU’s third country partners to consider the value of good faith in commercial relationships.”

Ulrich Adam, director general of Spirits Europe, said: “The conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the vital transition period, is a top priority that should be achieved without any further delay.

“The final version of the Withdrawal Agreement should include the reciprocal protection of geographical indications, agreed rules and processes to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, and secure continuity in commercial relations with third countries.

“Looking ahead to the future relationship, we call for the political declaration accompanying the Withdrawal Agreement to mandate the negotiators to achieve a deep and comprehensive EU-UK trade agreement securing tariff-free trade, fair competition and maintaining consumer confidence.”

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Author: Melita Kiely {authorlink}