Brexit & trade in the flour milling sector
Millers' priority is the continuation of the current trade flows for flour and flour-based products
Flour production in the 28 EU Member States is approximately 35 million t per year, milled from 45 million t of grain (essentially wheat & rye). Of this total, about 4 million t is produced in the UK, using about 5 million t of grain.
The European Flour Millers strongly favours the establishment of a preferential trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and the UK when the latter leaves the EU.
The UK is a market worth approximately €2 billion a year for EU flour and bakery products, whilst imports from the UK are worth €0,75 billion. We do not wish to see this valuable trade jeopardised, but fear that this might be the outcome if tariffs were introduced or if there were a realistic fear that they might be.
There would be an extremely serious local impact in the Republic of Ireland if tariffs were introduced in our sector, and notable effects on businesses in other Member States close to the UK – France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany.
Whilst our sector recognises the importance of the EC maintaining the EU’s negotiating mandate as agreed by the Member States; from our perspective there would be advantage in early agreement or at least an interim position with regard to trade, so that businesses can make plans with greater confidence.