The British Retail Consortium has written to prime minster Theresa May and European Union chief brexit negotiator Michel Barnier regarding the potential consequences threatening to damage the UK economy if an agreement that protects the free flow of good is not reached.
A third of food consumed in the UK is imported from the EU and its food supply chain heavily depends on frictionless trade with Europe. If the UK fails to achieve a successful Brexit it will mean that new border controls and multiple ‘non-tariff barriers’ and regulatory checks will create delays, waste and failed deliveries.
As a consequence, the food supply chain will suffer and, in turn, consumers. Food will rot at ports and this will minimise the quality and choice of available to consumers. Likewise, the EU £21 billion worth of exports to the UK are at stake.
“We must avoid a cliff edge scenario on the 29 March 2019 at all costs. Failure to achieve a smooth transition will create a lose-lose scenario for UK consumers and EU producers,” said BRC chairman Richard Pennycook. “Our food supply chain is complex, highly organised and ultimately fragile. Frictionless trade is essential if the industry is to continue to provide the level of choice and value in shops that UK consumers are used to seeing.”