Tuesday 23 July 2019

Drink affected

Brexit impact

Brendan Keane

The Government needs to be ready to address serious issues that could affect the drinks industry in the event that the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal being agreed.

A report compiled by the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) set out a number of key recommendations that would help negate the adverse affects of Brexit, which some within the drink industry fear could decimate the sector if the Government isn't prepared.

The ABFI report, which was compiled by economist Ciaran Fitzgerald, highlighted a need for reduction in excise duty on alcohol while also underlining the fact the country has the most expensive alcohol in the EU.

'This penalises consumers, impacts tourism and negatively impacts the sector's economic contribution,' said Mr Fitzgerald in the report.

The report also recommended the Government reintroduce a ban on low-cost selling especially with regard to a devaluation in Sterling as increased price differential could still lead to an increase in cross-border shopping.

Mr Fitzgerald suggested in the report that the Government should look at tax and regulatory measures to incentivise companies within the food and drinks sector to remain within the Republic of Ireland and to grow their business interests here.

The report also highlighted that a hard border could act as a barrier to start-ups within the industry.

Gorey Guardian