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BRC says Brexit & Irish border consultation unworkable

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said in a response to the Alternative Arrangements Commission consultation, that a no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for both consumers and retailers around Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC's Chief Executive, said, “We welcome the efforts of the Alternative Arrangements Commission to find a potential solution to the challenges that Brexit poses to the Irish border. However, the options proposed by the AAC still fall short of a workable solution.

'Further answers would be required on vital issues such as VAT, sanitary and phytosanitary checks and rules of origin to provide assurance to consumers and businesses alike of a workable plan for frictionless trade.'

Dickinson continued, “Great Britain imports a large amount of its food from Ireland and Northern Ireland, meaning that delays and checks at the border will have an adverse impact on consumers all across of the UK, resulting in higher prices and less choice on the shelves.

'A No-Deal Brexit on 31 October comes at a time when the UK is importing a significantly higher proportion of food from the EU as compared with the summer months. Retailers will also be stocking up for the peak Christmas trading period, meaning warehousing will already be at capacity.'

Dickinson concluded, 'It remains imperative that the UK avoid a chaotic no deal in October, and it is up to politicians of all stripes to come together to find a solution that ensures the UK continues to benefit from frictionless, tariff free trade into the future.'