BRC warns PM of hard Brexit consequences

In fear of a ‘hard Briexit’, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has written to Theresa May and the EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, showing the potential consequences of a hard Brexit scenario limiting the free flow of goods.

Around 33% of food consumed in the UK comes from the EU. Our food supply chain relies heavily on the free movement of goods across the Channel. Should a hard Brexit occur, new border controls and a number of ‘non tariff barriers’ may create delays, failed deliveries and waste.

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.”