Although the Republic of Ireland is a major exporter of food and beverages, most of its flour supply is dependent on the United Kingdom. However, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU means that flour has suddenly become more expensive, and Irish politicians are questioning whether the country should do more of its own grain processing.
Flour produced in the United Kingdom from wheat in the United Kingdom can be imported into Ireland, with zero tariffs as per the agreement signed by London with the European Union. However, the widespread use of imported wheat, especially from Canada, by millers in the United Kingdom means that the bulk of Ireland’s imports of flour are subject to tariffs, in accordance with the source rules set forth in the Agreement. As a result, Ireland’s supply of flour quickly became more expensive.
Senators have questioned Julie Cinnamon, executive director of government agency Enterprise Ireland, at a meeting of the Synod Special Committee (Senate of Ireland) on March 29 to withdraw the UK from the European Union. The European Union and the United Kingdom on the agro-food sector.
“The volume of trade between Ireland and the United Kingdom is not functioning normally,” Cinnamon told the panel. Traders reported that the challenges in meeting customs requirements in preparation for Brexit and stockpiling in the fourth quarter of 2020, the replacement of goods from other countries, and the reduction in trade volume due to the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions throughout January, were the factors contributing to the decline in trade.