The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has welcomed the publication of the Seanad report on Brexit, which it says addresses many of the drinks industry’s concerns.
It added that the report reflects many of the ABFI's recommendations made both in the Seanad and in its recently published report on the impact of Brexit on the Irish drinks industry.
Commenting on the publication, ABFI director Patricia Callan, stated: "I am delighted to see our proposal that the government challenges EU state aid rules was referenced in the Seanad report to promote future trade with the UK and other new markets, as current rules impose restraints on government support for Irish companies - restraints that will become all the more evident when the likes of Scotch whiskey are not subject to such rules. Drinks companies currently have over €1.1 billion in exports each year, and it is essential that this is protected and, indeed, developed further. The Seanad report also highlighted the importance of a pre-clearance model for goods whereby trucks and drivers can cross the border without incurring duties or checks. This is vital for many of our members who have all Ireland supply chains.”
Callan concluded that, "The report identifies Brexit as one of the largest competitiveness shocks that the Irish agri-food industry has faced. The drinks industry is an Irish success story employing over 200,000 people around the country and supporting 12,000 farm families. The combination of Brexit and the unintended economic consequences of the Public Health Alcohol Bill will only serve to exacerbate pressure on the sector. Now is not the time to impose ineffective regulation and additional costs on drinks companies."