MEP backs move to scrap EU sugar tariffs to save 850 Tate & Lyle jobs at Silvertown

Campaign to scrap EU sugar tariffs to save 850 Tate & Lyle jobs at Silvertown

Campaign to scrap EU sugar tariffs to save 850 Tate & Lyle jobs at Silvertown - Credit: MEP Sarah Ludford

A Euro MP has welcomed moves by the Government to press the EU to scrap sugar tariffs to save 850 refinery jobs in east London.

The Government is pushing for “fair treatment for cane refineries” like Tate & Lyle at Silvertown, Agriculture junior minister Lord De Mauley told Parliament.

Lord De Mauley revealed tough behind-the-scenes negotiations to reform the Common Agricultural Policy during a debate in the Lords on Tuesday.

The move has been welcomed by London Lib-Dem MEP Sarah Ludford who is backing the government’s bid to protect jobs threatened by tariffs on cane imports from the Commonwealth.

“The situation threatens to make production unviable and endanger the 850 jobs at Tate & Lyle,” the MEP said.

“These tariffs unfairly prevent cane refiners from being able to secure sufficient supplies of raw cane at a reasonable price—it’s a source of anger and intense concern.”

Her own campaign to protect the refinery jobs at Silvertown has resulted in the Westminster government putting pressure on Brussels to remove the tariffs.

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Gerald Mason, Tate & Lyle’s vice president for EU Affairs, said: “We’re grateful for Sarah Ludford’s support in our fight to reform EU sugar policy to protect the jobs of 850 people we employ in east London.”

Britain’s EU Agriculture Secretary Owen Paterson called for protective quotas for European-grown beet sugar to be scrapped and to relax restrictions on raw cane imports from the Commonwealth and elsewhere.

The Silvertown refinery depended on cane imports, he told last week’s meeting of EU agriculture ministers in Dublin. The next milestone in the campaign is a meeting of the EU ministers on June 25.

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