With the Brexit negotiations now underway, the British Beer & Pub Association has signified its support for the approach outlined by the CBI and other leading industry groups, to ensure that, alongside the brewing and pub industry’s existing priorities, robust transitional arrangements are in place as the UK prepares to leave the European union.
The BBPA also welcomed the Chancellor’s Mansion House Speech this morning, with its emphasis on putting the economy first and the need to maintain frictionless customs arrangements.
BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
“As the UK enters the Brexit negotiations, we have always been clear we want to see trade conducted as freely as possible and access to skills for the brewing and pub sector secured.
“Until there is a final settlement on our exit from the EU, the benefits of the single market and customs union should be maintained, and we also want to see the maintenance of an open border in Ireland.
“We want to see that the rights of our existing employees are swiftly safeguarded in the early phase of the negotiations, providing all our staff with much needed reassurance. At the same time, we want to play our part in attracting more UK citizens to work in our sector in the future.
“In terms of a final agreement, we support the objectives outlined by the CBI and others on 19th June.”
The principles set out by the CBI for a final settlement are as follows:
- Tariff-free goods trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union
- Minimal customs formalities at the land, sea and air borders between the United Kingdom and the European Union; regulatory equivalence and mutual recognition of standards on an ongoing basis to ensure continued mutual access for both goods and services;
- A flexible system for the movement of labour and skills between the United Kingdom and the European Union, that enjoys public support
- On-going UK participation in those pan-European programmes, initiatives and agencies which add real economic value to communities, businesses, young people and universities
- Protection of the benefits of free trade agreements currently delivered through the European Union
- Regulatory equivalence and mutual recognition of standards on an ongoing basis to ensure continued mutual access for both goods and services”
Brigid Simmonds concludes:
“As the negotiations proceed, we will also be urging the Government to make the most of opportunities for our sector, not least when it comes to taxation. The UK will need a more competitive beer duty regime that supports exports, changes that support the consumption of lower-strength drinks and support pubs, and reduced VAT on pub meals. This will allow us to create jobs and invest.”