The hospitality industry has commented on the Government’s white paper titled “The Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) says it is encouraging that the Government is making progress in setting out its proposals for Brexit. While there is still much detail to be thrashed out in key areas such as immigration, there are a number of specific positive developments. The BBPA is pleased that the white paper has highlighted the intent to maintain current systems for Excise and VAT practices. In order to ensure unnecessary, and costly, additional procedures are not added, we continue to encourage the Government to seek the Excise Control and Movement System upon leaving the EU (which allows the movement of beer across the EU).
The BBPA is also pleased that the maintenance of the Geographic Indicators (GI) system would continue as proposed in the white paper, ensuring continuity in the current legal protections enjoyed by British goods, such as Kentish Ales.
The proposed extension of the Youth Mobility Scheme in the white paper, which was requested by the BBPA, is also welcome. This allows young people up to the age of 30 to work in the UK for up to 2 years without counting towards migration numbers. The scheme currently exists for the UK and many Commonwealth countries and the BBPA has long been pressing for this to be extended to the whole of the EU.
BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
“It is encouraging that the Brexit white paper echoes some of the issues that we have been highlighting since the referendum. However, it’s still vital that the Government continue to work with us and the industry at every opportunity, so they understand what we need for a future outside of the EU. These proposals mark a positive step, but there remains much work to be done.”
UKHospitality welcomed the Government’s acknowledgement of the importance and prioritisation of the food and drinks industry in its Brexit White Paper.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “We are pleased that the Government has recognised the value of the food and drink sector. We are also pleased that there appears to be no major deviation from previously stated positions, particularly the ability EU citizens to be able to work in the UK.
“It is vitally important that there is no friction in trade with the EU, and that goods – food specifically – is able to be traded to suit the Just In Time method that many hospitality businesses will need. It’s reassuring to see the Government acknowledging the need for such smooth UK-EU trade.
“UKHospitality will continue to be in near-constant dialogue with the Government, to promote the interests of the hospitality sector and ensure that businesses are not disadvantaged by Brexit. We also await the forthcoming report by the Migration Advisory Committee and will be liaising with the MAC to ensure that the sector has access to the talent it needs.”