With regards to the negotiations concerning the departure of the UK from the EU, CEFS asks for the following:[1]

1. No disruption of trade

After Brexit, the UK will be the EU-27’s most important export market for sugar. It is essential that sugar producers in the EU-27 retain access to the UK market, both as part of an eventual trade agreement and to avoid a “trade gap” between the conclusion of the withdrawal negotiations and the entry into force of such an agreement.

A future free trade agreement should preserve the EU-27’s duty-free and quota-free access to the UK sugar market. A transitional agreement must be put in place following the conclusion of the withdrawal negotiations and before the entry into force of the new EU-UK free trade agreement. Strict rules of origin are essential for any EU-UK free trade agreement.

2. A fair sharing of the EU’s existing market access concessions

The EU’s concessions on sugar were negotiated as a bloc of 28 Member States. These concessions must be fairly divided between the UK and the EU-27 to reflect the respective import shares of each partner. The EU beet sugar sector cannot afford the increase in real market access for third countries that would result from maintaining the EU-28 quotas at their current level for a diminished EU.

3. No more market access concessions as long as question 2 is not settled

So long as no assurances are given regarding EU’s existing market access concessions, no additional offers of access to the EU market should be made to third countries. Specifically, the EU must exclude sugar from the free trade negotiations with Mercosur and Mexico.

Access the full .pdf file here.

Correspondence for media inquiries:

Marie-Christine Ribera, CEFS Director General: cefs@cefs.org

Josh Gartland, CEFS Adviser – Trade, Economic & Social Affairs: josh.gartland@cefs.org

[1] CEFS’ UK membership did not participate in the formulation of this statement and as such should not be assumed to have agreed or disagreed with its content.