Industry trade body gives thumbs up to Brexit white paper

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has today responded to the Government’s white paper entitled “The Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The highly criticised document outlining the proposed nature of the UK’s departure from the EU was released in Parliament this week drawing strong condemnation from both sides of the house for, critics claimed, enabling Brexit in name only.

However, the BBPA said it is “encouraging” that the Government is making progress in setting out its proposals for Brexit. In a statement the association said: “While there is still much detail to be thrashed out in key areas such as immigration, there are a number of specific positive developments. The BBPA is pleased that the white paper has highlighted the intent to maintain current systems for Excise and VAT practices. In order to ensure unnecessary, and costly, additional procedures are not added, we continue to encourage the Government to seek the Excise Control and Movement System upon leaving the EU (which allows the movement of beer across the EU).

“The BBPA is also pleased that the maintenance of the Geographic Indicators (GI) system would continue as proposed in the white paper, ensuring continuity in the current legal protections enjoyed by British goods, such as Kentish Ales.”

It added: “The proposed extension of the Youth Mobility Scheme in the white paper, which was requested by the BBPA, is also welcome. This allows young people up to the age of 30 to work in the UK for up to 2 years without counting towards migration numbers. The scheme currently exists for the UK and many Commonwealth countries and the BBPA has long been pressing for this to be extended to the whole of the EU.”

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds said: “It is encouraging that the Brexit white paper echoes some of the issues that we have been highlighting since the referendum. However, it’s still vital that the Government continue to work with us and the industry at every opportunity, so they understand what we need for a future outside of the EU. These proposals mark a positive step, but there remains much work to be done.”