Comment from Michael Bellingham, Chief Executive of the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA)
In the lead up to the referendum we released a poll of our members which showed that 86% wanted the UK to remain in the EU. Naturally, with such a definitive response and a strong desire to remain, the recent result has led to disappointment and uncertainty for the future.
However, we are where we are and we are committed to looking forward. As yet there are still very few “knowns” and many more “unknowns”, the main focus of PFMA during this period of uncertainty will be to look after the interests of our members and the pet food sector as a whole.
In terms of the immediate effect, EU laws will continue to apply for the UK and it will continue to participate in all other EU business, however the UK will not participate in internal EU discussions or decisions regarding its withdrawal.
PFMA will be working hard with Government and others, including our European pet food association FEDIAF, to ensure the best possible trading environment for our members both during negotiations and subsequently. PFMA’s relationship with FEDIAF remains exactly the same. Indeed, as the UK Government’s role in Brussels will inevitably be affected, it is even more important that our voice in Brussels via FEDIAF remains as strong and influential as it historically has been.
The full scale of the task facing the UK government is immense, it will have to renegotiate 80,000 pages of EU agreements, deciding those to be kept in UK law and those to jettison. We need to ensure that the needs of PFMA members are recognised and acted upon during this entire process.