Pub trade bodies call for certainty amid Brexit chaos

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Political tumult: further Brexit uncertainty is damaging to businesses, according to trade bodies UKHospitality and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA)
Political tumult: further Brexit uncertainty is damaging to businesses, according to trade bodies UKHospitality and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA)

Related tags: brexit

Trade bodies UKHospitality and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have said further uncertainty over Brexit is damaging to businesses.

Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a critical parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal this week and has since spoken with European leaders as she seeks legal guarantees the UK would not be trapped in a Northern Ireland 'backstop' – a temporary customs arrangement at the Irish border.

MPs will now vote on the deal before 21 January, giving May a few weeks to win the support of hard-Brexiters and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA said: “Brewers and publicans alike need certainty.

“Clarity on the transition period from 29 March onwards and a strong steer on the future relationship with the EU would be a boost to the trade and beer sales.

“The BBPA will continue to work with the Government on key issues, which include migration and movement of beer around Europe.”  

Further ambiguity 

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the additional uncertainty was detrimental to companies.

“Further ambiguity is unhelpful for businesses and undermines their attempts to plan and invest,” she said.

“We urge all sides to come together to provide the clarity that the country and businesses are looking for.”

Their urges come a day after the concerns of drinks manufacturers were outlined in a report ​from the cross-party Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee.

Business chiefs said they felt unclear on aspects of the withdrawal agreement and political declaration, including access to the EU workforce, frictionless trade and potential tariff increases.

Companies like Diageo said the agreement offered them an inferior scenario to EU membership, but that leaving without a deal would be catastrophic.

Related topics: Legislation

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