Leading Lawyer Says The Issue Must Be Resolved Immediately
The Food and Drink Federation is calling for any Brexit deal with the EU to include at least 12 months adjustment period to allow for businesses that have been unable to prepare for Brexit to continue trading.
The announcement follows the news that the government missed the key deadline to issue food labelling guidelines, resulting in many British businesses unable to export goods to the EU after the transition date.
The missed deadline could force British exporters to use different food labels for EU countries - including Northern Ireland - compared to products in the UK.
Speaking to Business Insider, Alex Turtle, the Food and Drink Federation’s labelling and enforcement manager, said:
“With the transition period nearing its end, UK-EU negotiations still ongoing, and updates to official guidance still awaited, the food industry has already practically run out of time to process the necessary label changes ahead of the January 2021 deadline.
“The UK’s exit from the EU requires food labels to be adapted as never before due to the unique situation of the country’s status change. These label changes are complex, and clarity from the government is urgently required in order for industry to be able to create compliant food labels post-exit.”
“The food and drink industry is so vital to the economy and needs to be fully supported by the Government throughout the Brexit process. In the sector, labelling is a key consideration in terms of both manufacturing costs and product safety and liability, this lack of clarity therefore puts the sector at yet more risk in these times of uncertainty – it needs to be resolved immediately.”
Rob Coleridge - Senior Associate