UKIP agriculture spokesman Stuart Agnew MEP said today in Strasbourg: “The stance of British sugar refiner maker Tate and Lyle shows that the EU regime of external tariffs and internal regulations is destroying British jobs and industry.
“The sugar cane importing company is lumbered by prohibitive tariffs for the importation of sugar cane from outside the EU. This pushes up the price of sugar for the consumer and makes the manufacture of cane sugar uncompetitive. It is the EU’s tariff and hyper-regulation regime which is strangling cane sugar refining in the UK.
“Tate and Lyle is currently prevented, by the EU commission, from importing its raw materials in the quantities it needs. That is one of the reasons it has had to close 5 out of 6 production plants and lay off workers. The EU is clearly tying the hands of the sugar cane refining industry behind its back.
“By slapping heavy tariffs on the importation of sugar cane from many tropical countries the EU is making cane syrup more expensive and putting more British jobs at risk. Life would be sweeter outside the tariff- imposing EU which is ‘beeting’ British sugar refining jobs out of existence.
“Tate and Lyle has survived the Blitz and the decline of British manufacturing, but is suffering immensely from the EU external tariffs regime. The same EU regime also continues to impoverish developing countries which are crying out to sell us their raw materials of which sugar cane is an example. The EU cannot claim to be a force for good in the world while it continues to do this.
“Of course a WTO panel found EU sugar policy not compliant with international trade rules in 2006. We in the UK are still dealing with the consequences. It is imperative there must be an even handed approach towards the sourcing of raw materials for the beet and sugar cane industries."