On 10 March, Mars Global Food, Drinks & Multisales President Fiona Dawson spoke at a trans-Atlantic conference organised by the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU in Brussels on the impact of Brexit on businesses and on consumers.
Mars has a long heritage and significant presence in Europe, including in the UK, employing more than 18,000 Associates in a network of factories and sites. That integrated supply chain helps to reduce costs and keep the price of our products down.
Post-Brexit, the absence of a new preferential trading relationship between Britain and the EU would likely see the imposition of new barriers that would disrupt trade and increase costs and prices.
Mars believes that such an outcome would be to the detriment of all, and that everyone involved in the forthcoming ‘Brexit’ negotiations should focus on the common economic interests at stake. That means putting jobs and consumers at the forefront of the talks, which should seek to forge a new agreement between Britain and the EU.
That message formed the heart of Fiona’s speech, which emphasised the importance of adopting a positive tone in these negotiations. The language of ‘divorce’ and ‘punishment’ which is currently heard is unhelpful. The focus should instead be on mutual interests and shared benefits. We want to see constructive negotiations to achieve the best outcome for all parties.
As Fiona said: “Reaching an agreement will require compromise and an appreciation of the economic interdependency between the UK and EU. It requires an acceptance of the benefits that common regulatory standards and the movement of labour can bring, and an understanding that the imposition of significant trade barriers would ultimately hurt everyone and undermine, rather than strengthen, European unity.”
Securing a new trade deal between Britain and the EU is the task in hand and it is one in which Mars intends to play an active part in helping to achieve.