Another casualty of Brexit is likely to be Tayto Cheese & Onion. The crisp is a popular delicacy locally and tops the list of things ex-pats miss about Northern Ireland (soda bread and potato bread take the number 2 and 3 positions).
Tayto (Northern Ireland) was formed in 1956 by the Hutchinson family and licensed the name and recipes of Tayto Crisps in the Republic of Ireland. As part of the agreement only Tayto Northern Ireland could sell in the UK. This was not an issue for the Republic of Ireland Tayto, which was content with its home market. But with mass emigration from the Republic to Britain in the 60’s and 70’s the company came to realise that they had foolishly given up a valuable export territory.
Over the years, Tayto (Republic of Ireland) has tried to rescind the license from their Northern competitors but to no avail. Now legal experts say Brexit has given them the opportunity they need to grab back control of the valuable UK market.
Lapif Loor, a Norwegian expat and expert on EU trade Law at Queen’s University Belfast, had this to say:
“In the revised 1976 licensing contract the marketing territories were defined based on the EU framework. Tayto (Northern Ireland) got the UK territory and Tayto (Republic of Ireland) got the rest of Europe. With the UK leaving the EU there is a case to be made that this invalidates the agreement and Tayto (Republic of Ireland) can void the agreement.”
But it seems Tayto (Northern Ireland) are on the ball. Anticipating this threat several years ago they bought the Golden Wonder brand to keep their foothold in the UK market.
If Tayto (Northern Ireland) is forced to stop selling their Cheese & Onion crisps this will lead to Southern Tayto being sold in the North. This is bound to enrage Unionists who will see it as another step on the road to a United Ireland.