Guinness beer production, one of Ireland's symbols, may be threatened by the UK leaving the EU if there is no political agreement and a "hard-bore" scenario.
Since 1778, the beer of this brand has been produced in St. Brewery. James Gate in Dublin, in a large brick complex on the banks of the River Liffey, which flows through the Irish metropolis. From the brewery building, beer-filled tanks leave every day to Belfast north of the island.
It goes beyond the invisible border today between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland, where the beverage is subjected to secondary fermentation (conditioning) and then returns to Dublin, from where the ships are exported to the world.
"The Irish beverage market really includes the whole island," Patricia Callan, director of Irish Alcohol Drinks Federation, told the media. She specified that it means both sides of the border.
Negotiations on brexite have yet to answer the question of what the Irish-Northern Ireland border will look like. While the EU insists on maintaining the current state, which would mean leaving Northern Ireland in a customs union with the EU, London does not share these ideas.
The Union does not want any barriers to cross-border trade, nor does it question the 1998 Grand-Tart Agreement, which ended a thirty-year bloody conflict between Protestant unionists and Catholic Republicans in Northern Ireland.
The Hard Brexit scenario, or Britain's departure from the EU without agreement, is worrying about Irish alcoholic beverage industry.
"Any delay in the logistics chain, even one hour, would result in additional costs of around one hundred euros per truck," said P. Callan. Annually, over 23,000 beer trucks run through these borders.
The fate of other producers
The Guinness brand belongs to Diageo, which last year had a turnover of 14 billion euros. The company itself is strong enough to cope with the shock of hard bruxism, but there are hundreds of small suppliers who provide basic raw materials and are scattered around the island.
Diageo Europe President John Kennedy also pointed out that the possible limitation of travel for people and the transport of goods would mean a "burden", especially for their suppliers.
A representative of the Irish Freight Transport Association, Seamus Lehen, expressed concern that a tough brexit might force Diageo to close its Belfast plant and relocate some production activities to Ireland. And any increase in the cost of making a well-known brand of beer will ultimately be felt by consumers.