Impact of Brexit and the food regulatory divergence on the Irish food and drink industry

AT Kolamunna, Joseph McMahon, Sinéad Furey, Fiona Lalor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On 24 June 2016, the majority of the UK voted to leave the European Union and formally departed the EU on 31 December 2020. With this departure, the UK started diverging from EU law. Some of the major divergences are the UK’s animal export ban, identifying gene editing separately from genetic modification, the new UKCA mark, rules of origin requirements, not banning Titanium Dioxide, removing radioactivity restrictions on food imports from Japan, and not following the EU’s reduction of permissible Arsenic level by 80%. According to the Windsor Framework, the products destined for the Republic of Ireland, or any EU location will undergo the "red lane" process, which includes customs declarations and specific inspections. UK has introduced a Border Target Operating Model, which categorizes the food imported into the UK based on the risk and requires pre-notifications and an Export Health Certificate for high-risk Sanitary and Phytosanitary goods. The UK landbridge can be still utilized, but with increased requirements and documentary checks, potentially leading to higher costs and possible delays. Even with all those challenges, 95% of Irish food businesses are optimistic about growth, and in 2022, the UK remained Ireland's primary agri-food export destination, with a value of €6.7 billion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Trade and Customs Journal
Issue number9
Early online dateSept 2024
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 May 2024


  • Brexit
  • Regulatory divergence
  • Food and drink industry
  • Food fraud


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