Meeting with Shadow Ministers of TradeSimon Spurrell
We had a productive meeting with the Shadow Ministers of Trade
MP’s Emily Thornberry, Shadow Minister for International Trade & Industry and Bill Esterson, Shadow Minister for Trade visited us for a meeting last week. It was refreshing to not only have MP’s that listened and understood our total loss of the EU market since Brexit but ones willing to also to discuss practical solutions to help mend the situation.
Since January this year, we have been unable to ship to the EU consumers because of the requirement for an EHC document issued by a Veterinary surgeon. This health certificate has a cost of up to £180 per destination for us to be able to send either one single cheese or a pallet load to the EU. If we had agreed to match or better EU food standards we and the food industry as a whole would not have seen the massive £2.2billion loss in exports to the EU that have not been filled or matched with deals from other countries.
We along with other small food producers want to see the Government open up negotiations with the EU to allow an exemption for all consumers just as is in place already for EU consumers to purchase up to 20kg of fish without duty or the requirement for an EHC document. The solution for renewed economic prosperity would be for the UK to align its already high food standards with the EU, let’s all hope common sense will prevail! At the moment there are no reciprocal restrictions for any EU food producers all of whom remain free of duty and paperwork to export their goods into the UK.
Director Simon Spurrell has previously met with the Government Ministers and Victoria Prentis advised him to ‘forget the EU’ as they were unwilling to renegotiate the deal they signed. Simon has spoken to EU commissioners who have told him this is untrue and the door remains open to negotiate any of the areas of the deal but the UK Government must submit a proposal which to date have not been forthcoming.
Managing Director Robert Gosling has said of the meeting: “I was impressed at how keen the opposition ministers were to understand how small businesses were suffering due to unnecessary Brexit rules and red-tape, and how constructive the conversation was on possible solutions”