The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has warned that exiting the EU without finalising an Irish border solution is expected to cost €364m worth of drinks trade between Ireland and the UK.

The outcome would restrict an estimated 23,000 cross-border truck movements and attract additional new tariffs on supply chains.

In addition, a no-deal Brexit may lead to an increase in running costs for distilleries in Ireland.

The ABFI’s director Patricia Callan was quoted by irishexaminer.com as saying: “The Irish drinks industry is a highly integrated all-island sector that is important for both the Irish and Northern Irish economies.

“The economic interests of both the EU and the UK would be best served by the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU.”

“For us, Brexit could be highly disruptive, particularly if there was to be a disastrous no-deal scenario.”

Last year, global drinks exports from Ireland stood at €1.6bn while drinks exports were valued at €364m. This represents almost one-third of the entire drinks exports from Ireland.

Callan further added: “The economic interests of both the EU and the UK would be best served by the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU. If this cannot be achieved, then a comprehensive alternative approach must be put in place.

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“Tariffs would add significant costs to Northern Irish whiskey distilleries and breweries buying barley and malt from Ireland, to Irish craft distilleries and breweries buying specialist malts from the UK and to Irish cider producers buying apples from Co Armagh.”

The AFBI represents alcoholic drinks manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland.