Much of the debate surrounding the UK’s referendum on the European Union has focused on giving “Britain back to the British”, but one aspect of British industry could be set to suffer at the hands of a Brexit leave vote.
The European Union currently provides regulations that protect traditional and regional products from being imitated throughout the area.
Will these products simply disappear from the shelves?
Probably not, as the protection given from the EU is not solely restricted to EU members.
“The EU has done a lot to protect Britain’s food heritage,” said Robin Skailes, whose family produces Stilton cheese at the Cropwell Bishop Creamery. Stilton has made the most of the European Protected Designation of Origin status since 1996, signifying that it can only be made in certain counties in Britain, such as Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
The U.K. Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has backed the regulations’ impact on local products.
“The EU Protected Food Names scheme enables our most iconic food to thrive in the international and domestic marketplace,” according to the agency.
It “protects British products from imitation, helping consumers recognise products as being traditional and authentic. Businesses awarded with PFN status have seen a boost in sales, helping grow local economies, increase employment and drive up tourism.”