London, 8th December 2017: Dairy UK today welcomed the announcement today of progress made between the UK Government and European Union on Brexit negotiations.
Dairy UK said it looked forward to the start of trade discussions which will be crucial in ensuring that the UK dairy industry can thrive in a post-Brexit era.
Dairy UK said the joint agreement on the rights of EU and UK citizens residing in the UK and in other member states and a framework for ensuring there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were 'vitally important steps in the right direction'.
Commenting on this morning's announcement, Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK said: "We are very pleased that progress has been made on these important issues, so that the all-important talks on trade can begin. We have continued to stress how important ensuring there remains no border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is to the dairy industry supply chain, which requires the transportation of raw milk and other products across the border without tariff or administrative barriers. We also welcome the commitment to protect the East-West border, as it is crucial there remains regulatory alignment between Northern Ireland and Great Britain so trade can continue freely within the UK. This is important for a number of reasons, including avoiding an undue burden of regulation for businesses within the UK, and because dairy and meat from NI make an important contribution to food on shelf in GB.
"The dairy industry in the UK also relies on continuous access to labour. The progress on the rights of EU citizens is very welcome but there is a great deal more work to be done in this area to ensure that our industry can move into the post-Brexit era with confidence.
"The UK dairy industry is strategically important for the nation. What we need now is greater detail and clarity on our future relationship with the EU in the transition period and beyond, so that the dairy industry has both certainty and stability in which to do business. We are ready and willing to continue providing information on Brexit and trade to Government, to ensure we achieve the optimum outcome for the dairy industry."