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Food and Drink Federation News Article, 13 July 2016
In an open letter to the incoming Prime Minister, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) today set out food and drink manufacturers' key priorities for the negotiations on the UK's new relationship with the European Union.
Published today, FDF's manifesto 'A New UK-EU Relationship - Priorities for the Food and Drink Manufacturing Industry' identifies the key short and longer-term actions that the largest manufacturing sector – food and drink –requires if it is to remain competitive and successful.
On the publication of FDF's manifesto FDF Director General Ian Wright CBE said:
“Britain's food and drink manufacturers are responsible for feeding millions each day. A healthy and secure food and drink industry is critical to our national community and economy. Today we set out priority actions for the new Government to help bring much needed stability and confidence back to the sector and wider UK economy. Our partnership with UK Government has never been more important to keeping food prices stable, protecting UK competitiveness and securing a skilled workforce for the future.”
The following is an extract of the section of the Manifesto relating to ‘Regulatory Stability’:
AN APPROPRIATE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK THAT ENSURES THE CONTINUED CONFIDENCE OF CONSUMERS AND INDUSTRY
1. A roadmap for future legislation
Businesses need a clear roadmap setting out how Government will manage the exit process in the complex area of food legislation. Dialogue with industry is important to ensure an effective regulatory landscape is developed, including discussion of scenarios for the future regulation of UK food and drink. Consideration should also be given to how industry’s ability to innovate might most effectively be supported.
2. Maintaining confidence in UK food and drink
Recognition of the UK as a producer of safe, high quality food and drink shouldn’t be harmed by withdrawal from the EU. Domestic consumer confidence and our ability to export must be maintained. Regulation should continue to be based on sound science and evidence. Government must ensure relevant bodies are appropriately resourced.
3. A new regulatory landscape
The existing EU regulatory framework facilitates trade on a level playing field and allows UK businesses to access the Single Market. Industry needs to be assured that mechanisms will be put in place to ensure mutual recognition of potentially different regulatory systems, without the need for Export Health Certificates or burdensome customs barriers.
4. Ongoing regulatory developments
Government should continue to play an active role in ongoing EU policy negotiations. All current and ‘in the pipeline’ regulations, whether on food safety, labelling or on broader issues such as health and safety, will apply to UK business until the day we exit, at least. However, there are concerns about the potential impact UK manufacturers might face in terms of the cost and time spent adapting to comply with new EU legislation that could then be revised or revoked by Government.
5. UK-EU regulatory cooperation
Consideration must be given to high-level initiatives that are best addressed at a multinational level, such as global emissions reductions, environmental controls and crossborder operations. It would be hard for the UK, in isolation, to achieve these objectives without significant cooperation. The UK must secure a seat at the negotiating table for significant EU legislation that will directly impact our trading relationships, similar to the regulatory cooperation
A full copy of the 'Manifesto' is avilable on this site. See: A new UK-EU relationship. For the full Open Letter, go to: http://www.fdf.org.uk/news.aspx?article=7572