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London, 22nd September 2017: Proposals for a transition period and protections for the Irish border and EU citizens living in the UK are welcome, but concerns remain on EU labour and farming subsidies commented Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, earlier today.

Dairy UK issued the following statement today in response to Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Florence on Brexit negotiations and the future trading relationship with the European Union.

Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, commented: “We welcome Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals today to protect the common travel area of the Republic of Ireland and to protect the rights of EU citizens working in the UK.  It is of upmost importance that the dairy sector can trade with confidence and certainty, and so we welcome the proposed period of transition after Brexit. The EU is our biggest export market, and so it is vital we can continue to trade tariff-free and maintain a close and positive relationship whilst negotiations continue and beyond.

We welcome a transition period as this would provide stability. However, we also believe it is important that both the UK and EU take steps to address ongoing concerns over access to skilled and unskilled EU labour and subsidies for UK farmers once this period ends. These represent key areas of concern for the UK dairy industry.

Dairy UK will continue to represent the interests of the UK dairy sector to government throughout the negotiations to ensure our members can trade successfully, and consumers can continue to enjoy British dairy products.”