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UK exports of food and drink were worth £10.2bn in the first half of 2017, up by 8.5% on the previous year and setting a new record for the sector, the country’s food industry association reported today. Food minister George Eustice welcomed the growth and said new deals agreed with China and the Philippines will see UK pork and beef exports rise further. However, the ongoing uncertainty over the Brexit process will keep celebrations muted.
The UK food industry has welcomed a newly published position paper by the UK government that proposes keeping the 310-mile border between the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland “frictionless and seamless” when the UK leaves the Customs Union. The UK also envisages an exemption for Northern Ireland’s food producers from EU sanitary and phytosanitary checks on the borderlands to the Republic.
Livsmedelsverket in the Swedish city of Uppsala has been named as the EU reference laboratory for foodborne viruses.
Leading food policy specialists have warned the UK government that the country is currently unprepared to make the changes to the food system that are needed in the run up to its exit from the European Union.
The UK’s food industry is urging the government to ensure transitional arrangements are in place when the country leaves the EU to avoid the much feared “cliff edge”. Any abrupt changes could adversely affect food supply, the industry warns.
The UK government has been accused of being ‘unprepared for the most complex ever change to its food system’ as a result of Brexit, according to a highly critical report by a group of UK academics.
The Irish business organisation (IBEC) is warning about key challenges facing its members as well as industry EU-wide after Brexit, flagging up regulatory divergence as a future problem.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is preparing for a significant challenge in stepping up to become the UK’s core food safety agency after Brexit, a senior FSA executive said on July 11.
Concern has been expressed by a number of World Trade Organization (WTO) governments about uncertainty and possible disruption caused by Britain’s forthcoming departure from the European Union.
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