Monthly grace period for food sector, once EU transition period ends

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Scotland's food and drink sector has asked the PM for a six-month 'grace period' for new rules to go into effect as the Brexit transition comes to an end on 31 December.

The group said in the letter to Boris Johnson the Prime Minister said that it now faced "a dangerous position" heading into the end of the year following the damage caused by coronavirus.

"fallout from a no-deal would be catastrophic" - Boris Johnson

With no agreement yet reached between the UK and the EU on future trading terms, Scotland's food and drink industry chastised Johnson for the "catastrophic consequences" of no deal.

The Scottish food and beverage industry is worth £15 billion a year and employs 120.000 people nationwide.

Industry leaders said the effects of Covid-19 was 'devastating 'with an estimated £3billion of revenue lost to the sector.

With Brexit transitional stages less than two months away, the group campaigned for a six-month relaxation of rules requiring export health certificates and other certificates to be provided for those who trade in goods to Europe.

The letter to the PM was signed off by Scotland Food and Drink boss James Withers, Food and Drink Federation Scotland chief David Thomson and Scott Walker, who occupies the same role with the National Famers Union Scotland.

It also wants the UK Government to "finalise operational arrangements for enabling the smooth passage for seafood consignments across the Channel" which is a crucial area for Scotland's fishing industry in relation to selling its products to Europe.