Yenra : Chocolate : British Chocolate : Access battle won

A battle to give British chocolate unrestricted access to Spanish and Italian markets has been won in the European Court of Justice today.

Europe's highest court upheld a preliminary ruling that Spanish and Italian provisions, which require British and other chocolates containing vegetable fats to be labelled as "chocolate substitute," are illegal under EU law.

Phillip Whitehead, local MEP and Labour's Spokesman on Consumer Protection, who led for Labour in the "chocolate wars", said:

"Many thousands of people in both Britain and African depend on our chocolate production and they know that barriers which restrict fair competition in Europe's market of 300 million consumers are a heavy burden to bear."

"For over twenty years we have battled to make it as easy to sell familiar British chocolates in Madrid and Milan as in Manchester."

"We proved our case in Parliament and won. Now the Court has endorsed that democratic decision. The ruling should be good news for British jobs and for chocolate lovers everywhere."

"This is what Europe should be doing, breaking down barriers to give British companies unfettered access to the biggest consumer market in the world. A positive ruling from Europe brings the long running saga of British chocolate in Europe to a happy end."