A cross-party group of MPs has reiterated the NPA’s concerns over future access to EU labour during a parliamentary reception.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Eggs, Pigs and Poultry hosted a parliamentary reception last week, using the opportunity to highlight the sectors’ concerns over migrant labour.
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP Jim Shannon, who chairs the group, made direct reference to the NPA’s survey on migrant labour, which highlighted the extent to which the pig sector relies on EU. With some EU workers already leaving because of Brexit, it also laid bare real concerns within the industry about Government plans to restrict EU workers after we leave the EU.
Mr Shannon stressed the need for the Government to provide certainty to EU workers and their families about their future in this country and called for a flexible visa system to be put in place. We and they need assurances that they will still be welcome, he said.
He also spoke about the opportunities for the next generation provided by Brexit, including the opening up of new export markets outside the EU.
He said the DUP, which currently holds the balance of power in Westminster after the failure of the Conservatives to secure a majority in the May General Election, had been very active in highlighting the challenges of migrant labour and the wider issues foe the pig, poultry and egg sectors to the Government. He said he was confident that a deal will be agreed with EU, despite all the current uncertainty over the negotiations.
NPA senior policy advisor Ed Barker said the event was attended by MPs from across the political spectrum, which provided a good opportunity for the NPA to highlight its hopes and concerns as the Brexit negotiations unfold.
“APPGs are ways of MPs to collectively meet and discuss specific policy areas of interest to them – they range from everything and anything you can imagine, and in our case it is a good opportunity to update MPs and Peers on key concerns from our sectors in a more informal setting,” he said.
“The Chairman, Jim Shannon MP (DUP) provided an excellent overview of the sectors, focussing explicitly on migrant labour. Using NPA figures from our recent member survey, he stated the need for certainty for those migrants employed in the sector and for their families. We saw MPs from across the political divide at the event, and was a useful springboard for our recently released Brexit snapshot.“