Employment / Exports / 17 January 2017

BBPA responds to Prime Minister May’s Brexit Speech

The BBPA’s Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, has this afternoon responded to the Prime Minister’s Brexit speech, welcoming Theresa May’s recognition of the value of the UK’s food and drinks sector, and her support for competitive tax rates for businesses.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:

“It is heartening to hear the Prime Minister reiterate her support for competitive tax rates for businesses in the UK, and to hear her acknowledge the value of the UK’s food and drink sector to the British economy. Beer exports are third on the list of British food and drink exports, and are worth more than £550 million to the UK economy.

“British brewing is respected and admired the world over, and as new agreements with Europe and the rest of the world are developed, we will be urging the Government to ensure that we can export on a competitive footing and trade as freely as possible.

“Boosting current electronic trading arrangements, which at the moment facilitate the smooth trading of beer across borders, should be an important part of any new trade agreements.”

“It will come as relief to many working in our industry that, in leaving the EU, Britain will look to ensure that those already working in the UK have the right to remain here. Around 20% of workers in our pubs are not UK nationals, and it’s important to note that in metropolitan areas, particularly London and the South East, this figure will be much higher.

“It is important that British firms, particularly in the beer and pub sector, can continue to seek international talent for soft skills shortages, including non-graduates, in the UK, and we await further details of how any new work permit system might work.”

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