Brexit: Expert discusses 'success' for the UK government
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According to the latest study, based on Istat data relating to foreign trade in January 2021, Made in Italy exports have dropped by around 38.3 percent due to red tape hindering trade. Most exported Italian products to the UK are foods, transport, clothing, machinery and appliances and metals.
The study also found British imports into Italy have also decreased by up to 70.3 percent.
MEP Paolo de Castro argued these exports and imports are paying the price of Brexit.
He said: “Brexit is turning out to be a tragedy, not only for us, but above all for the British, who are realising it more and more every day.
“Unfortunately, we are experiencing many bureaucratic-administrative problems.
“With the Wine Intergroup we requested a suspension until an electronic platform of export certificates was set up to solve the great problems we are experiencing in wine exports.”
The UK ranks fourth among Italian food and beverage trading partners after Germany, France and the US.
Difficulties in trade with the UK could put at risk the 3.4 billion Made in Italy agri-food exports recorded last year.
This comes after Boris Johnson signed a Brexit trade deal with the EU back in December.
As of January 1, the UK left the EU Single Market but red tape has forced the Prime Minister to pay compensation to the British fishing industry.
Mr De Castro spoke at the second day of the Valpolicella Annual Conference organised by the Consortium for the protection of Valpolicella wines.
Wine is second place among the best-selling Italian agri-food products in the UK, with Prosecco in the lead.
The study warned these products could be at risk because of tensions at the borders which can turn into delays, particularly damaging to perishable products such as food.
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Mr De Castro also lashed out at the Commission’s anti-cancer plan, which was revealed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the eve of World Cancer Day last month.
The plan promised to undertake a review of the promotion policy for agricultural products and said it would be “in line with the shift to a more plant-based diet, with less red and processed meat and other foods linked to cancer risks and more fruit and vegetables”.
But Mr De Castro argued this plan punishes alcohol and meat products and will have “dangerous consequences”.
He added: “This is a sacrosanct plan which, however, can have dangerous consequences for some made in Italy products and the Mediterranean diet, such as red meat and wine.
“We have a series of initiatives in place, starting with the important one scheduled in the next few days in Brussels together with Coldiretti and the Italian Supply Chain with experts from all over Europe to make it clear how important it is to tackle this issue seriously.
“The European Parliament and the Agriculture Committee will work to avoid consequences both on promotion and labelling.”
Mr De Castro also revealed there have been talks with the US over tariffs and said the EU hopes to work with the Biden administration in the future.
He continued: “On the issue of US-EU tariffs, just a few days ago we had a discussion in the committee with the head of Commerce, Valdis Dombrovskis, who ratified the European commitment to a six-month moratorium on all duties between the two allies.
“The hope is now that the European request is accepted by the Biden administration, with whom we will work as soon as his team takes office permanently.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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