NPA issues EU labour warning in response to May Brexit speech

The NPA has responded to the Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit with a warning to the Government about the importance of EU labour.

Theresa May has today outlined her priorities for the Brexit negotiations, including controlling the numbers of people coming to the UK from Europe.

She signalled the UK will leave the Single Market and full membership of the EU Customs Union, while seeking to retain ‘frictionless trade’ with the EU via a Free Trade Agreement and forging new trading relationships elsewhere.

She also highlighted her desire to put in place a transitional period to ensure UK businesses do not ‘fall off a cliff’ when we sever our ties with the EU. Mrs May also revealed MPs and peers would get to vote on the final Brexit deal.

The NPA has responded by outlining its top three Brexit priorities:

  • Retaining sufficient access to EU labour
  • Retaining tariff-free access for exports to the EU market
  • Ensuring pork imports are produced to equivalent standards

The NPA’s full press release can be viewed here

The core message was the need to ensure the Government’s focus on immigration does not have unintended consequences for sectors like pig production.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “Without EU labour there will be no British pig industry as we know it.

“We understand why immigration is going go to be a priority for Mrs May but, along with many other sectors, we fear this could result in serious unintended consequences if politics triumphs over economic reality.

“We are heavily reliant on EU labour on our farms, in our processing plants and across the wider industry, to produce British pigmeat, which is so highly valued in our home and export markets. We must do everything we can to retain that access.”

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.