GMB backs peers’ call for guarantees over post-Brexit chocolate bar tariffs

GMB, the union for chocolate bar producers, has backed a House of Lords report calling for guarantees on confectionary tariffs post-Brexit.

In a document published on April 27, peers said up to 97% of the UK’s food and drink exports could be at risk after Britain leaves the EU.

Sugar and confectionary are already subject to the highest EU tariffs – GMB says these must not go up during negotiations and consumer standards must be maintained.

Eamon O’Hearn, GMB National Officer, said: “We share peers’ concern regarding the impact of Brexit on the food and drink industry.

“We’ve already seen the effect in Scotland with Diageo cutting jobs – and now fears are growing in England following job losses at Pepsico and Nestle.

“It’s not clear this Government is taking it seriously – and seems to have no idea about the potential impact on our food and drink workers or consumers.

“Our confectionary is already subject to the highest EU tariffs, so we need guarantees that these will not be increased during Brexit negotiations and that consumer standards are maintained to ensure that the market is not flooded with sub-standard, artificially cheap products.

“Whoever wins the General Election needs to ensure our food and drink jobs – the UK’s largest manufacturing industry – are protected and that consumers are not subjected to sky rocketing prices.”