BBPA reacts to Article 50 trigger date

21 March 2017

The excruciating will she, wont she ended yesterday when prime minister Teresa May announced Article 50 will be triggered on 29 March.

BBPA chief executive, Brigid Simmonds has been one of the first to speak out on the news that the process for Britain to leave the EU will start later this month.

'The prime minister has voiced support for competitive tax rates for businesses in the UK, and as the formal process for leaving the European Union begins, I hope that this support continues,' Simmonds said.

'I would urge the Government to look at the value of the UK’s food and drink sector to the British economy and ensure that, as we leave the EU, our sector is protected.'

Simmonds emphasised beer is the UK’s third biggest food and drink export, worth more than £550 million to the UK economy.

'British brewing is respected and admired the world over, and as new trading relationships are developed, it is important to ensure that we can export on a competitive footing and trade as freely as possible,' she added. 'Currently, 63% of Britain’s beer exports go to the European Union, with the remaining 37% heading outside the EU.'

The chief exec said boosting current electronic trading arrangements, which at the moment facilitate the smooth trading of beer across borders, should be an important part of any new trade agreements.

'It has been reassuring to hear that Britain will look to ensure that those already working in the UK have the right to remain here. Over 20% of workers in our pubs are not UK nationals, and it’s important to note that in metropolitan areas, particularly London and the South East, this figure will be much higher. It is vital that these workers’ rights are protected, which will provide much welcome stability both to them personally, and to our sector.'

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