Drinks industry welcomes Brexit deal

Ireland's whiskey industry is one segment that will breath a sigh of relief with the latest Brexit agreement
Ireland's whiskey industry is one segment that will breath a sigh of relief with the latest Brexit agreement

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has welcomed the latest deal struck between the EU and the UK in relation to Brexit and Northern Ireland.

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8 December 2017 | 0

The UK has agreed to remain fully aligned to EU rules supporting Irish cross-border arrangements, even if no deal can be agreed; a move that has been welcomed by the drinks industry in Ireland. ABFI said the agreement will be vital for Ireland’s ‘all-island’ drinks industry, as the cross-border movement of goods during the production process currently takes place freely.

Currently both the UK and Irish Governments enforce laws that ensure Irish whiskey, Irish cream liqueur and Irish poitín can only be produced on the island of Ireland, subject to certain standards.

“Ireland has an integrated all-island drinks industry with cross-border supply chains,” says Patricia Callan, ABFI director. “Many companies operate their sourcing, production and bottling as if there was no border between the north and south. Therefore, a solution to the border issue was of paramount importance for the industry and we welcome the deal struck between the UK and the EU.”

“Additionally,” Callan says, “Ireland’s three spirit GIs (Irish whiskey, cream liqueur and poitín) operate on an all-island basis, recognised and enforced by both Irish and UK authorities. We welcome the commitment made to ensure this remains the case.”

Geographic Indicators or GI protection means those spirits (and other products in Ireland and around the world) can only be made on the island of Ireland in line with an EU approved technical file.

“GIs protect the integrity and quality of these spirits categories and the investment being made in production and employment on the island of Ireland,”  Callan adds.

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