Posted on May, 16, 2018 at 10:52 am
By Arvin Donley
The rice and flour milling industries in the United Kingdom could be negatively impacted if the country withdraws from the customs union and single market as part of Brexit — the vote by British citizens in 2016 to leave the European Union, The Guardian reported on May 15.
Umesh Parmar, joint managing director of Tilda, one of the U.K.’s most popular rice brands, told The Guardian that the company’s rice mill in Rainham, Essex, would close if barriers to imports from its supplier in India and Pakistan as well as exports to the E.U. were put in place.
“The Tilda brand won’t disappear, but it just won’t be a British-made product anymore,” Parmar told the newspaper. “The value added will not be in Britain. Our business would be better off within the customs union.”
Alex Waugh, director general of the National Association of British and Irish Millers, told The Guardian that flour mills were also at risk as 80% of Ireland’s bread came from the U.K.
He said post-Brexit tariffs could be as high as 50% on flour imports from the U.K., making British flour uncompetitive and threatening closure of several of the country’s 50 flour mills.
The U.K. is scheduled to leave the E.U. by March 29, 2019, although there will be a 21-month transition period that will end on Dec. 31, 2020.