|Editorial commentary; Some ‘more positive’ aspects of Brexit|
The media tends to concentrate on the possible ‘downside’ of Brexit, but how often do they highlight the potential upside?
EU legislation currently regulates food & drink labelling, meaning the UK Government can only make recommendations to industry.
In 2013, the Department of Health introduced a voluntary traffic light scheme, but the LGA said they are only displayed on two thirds of products sold in the UK. Councils, which have responsibility for public health, say the traffic light system should become a legal requirement for all products once EU laws are transferred into British law after Brexit.
Meanwhile. overseas sales of UK food & drink continued to soar last year, with record exports of over £22bn demonstrating a clear desire for British taste, quality & high standards around the world. UK food & drink businesses are now selling their products to 217 markets – with sales of milk & cream increasing by 61%, salmon by 23% and pork by 14%.
This growing hunger for UK produce reveals the huge opportunities for producers & manufacturers as the UK prepares to leave the EU. The US remains the largest market outside of the EU – worth £2.3bn last year and rising 3% from the previous year.
One also wonders why we always hear about the international trade over Republic of Ireland – NI border but not about RoI’s international trade via Welsh ports.
Before ‘playing hardball’ over the RoI – NI border issue perhaps the RoI (& and EU negotiators) ought to consider what would happen to their economy without an agreement over the RoI – Wales border as 80% of goods carried in Irish registered HGVs between the RoI and Europe pass through Welsh ports. In 2016, 524,000 lorries passed through major Welsh ports to and from the Irish Republic.Could the successful US – Canada hi-tech border controls system provide the answer for not just the RoI – UK borders, but also the other UK – EU trade ‘borders’?