EU ‘vital for food industry success’: Sir Stuart Rose

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

EU membership 'is vital' for the success of our food and drink sector: Sir Stuart Rose
EU membership 'is vital' for the success of our food and drink sector: Sir Stuart Rose

Related tags: Eu membership, International trade, Eu

EU membership is “vital for the success” of the UK food and drink manufacturing sector, argues Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Britain Stronger in Europe and former executive chairman of Marks & Spencer.

In a guest article written exclusively for FoodManufacture.co.uk, Rose claimed: “Being a member of the single market is vital for the industry’s success.

“Trading in the single market allows us to import and export goods easily with a customer base of 500M.”

As a former executive chairman of Marks & Spencer, Rose claimed to have first-hand experience of the benefits that EU membership provided to the UK food and drink sector.

UK food and agricultural exports to the EU were worth about £11.4bn a year and the EU takes 60% of UK food and agricultural exports, he said. “Losing out on this market would impact profits and drive up prices, rather than the opposite.”

£4,300 per household per year

In the guest article, to be published by FoodManufacture.co.uk next Tuesday (May 31), Rose quoted Treasury analysis revealing that a vote to leave would hit the economy to the tune of £4,300 per household per year by 2030. “This would leave us worse off, with less money to spend in the shops.”

Quitting the EU could result in higher tariffs and trade barriers, he argued. EU membership made businesses stronger, while leaving “would hit trade, investment, and the stability on which businesses rely”.

Rose concluded: “The effects of the referendum will be far reaching, impacting all industries across the country.

“A vote to remain is a vote for stability in an outward facing, strong country. Leaving would put all this at risk, and is a leap in the dark.”

The chairman of the official pro-EU campaign group also quoted research from the independent think tank Centre for Economic Policy Research, which claimed World Trade Organisation tariffs would increase the price of imports by £11bn across Britain.

‘Commodities more expensive’

A decision to leave the EU would make UK exports to Europe more expensive and tariffs could be as high as 42% for dairy products, he claimed. “These additional tariffs and costs would force prices up, making important commodities more expensive.”

Foodmanufacture.co.uk will also publish shortly a guest article arguing the benefits for the food and drink sector of leaving the EU.

The referendum on Britain’s continued EU membership will take place on Thursday June 23 2016.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies claimed today (May 25) the UK could face an extra two years of austerity measures if the nation voted to quit the EU.

But John Redwood, Conservative Member of Parliament for Wokingham and Vote Leave campaigner, told BBC Radio 4’s Today​ programme the think-tank was part of the “cosy establishment”.

Britons would be better off voting to leave the EU, he said.

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1 comment


Posted by howard scaife,

Sir Stuart Rose .Says UK food industry needs the EU and it is vital to our future.
NOT ONCE has the EU done anything to protect UK interests, he fails to mention the millions of £s being lost due to illegal immigrants getting into trucks and contaminating food that has to be destroyed.
Or the many strikes in France that puts up costs for UK hauliers./importers and higher prices in the shops.
When will Sir Stuart and his friends actually "Do something " To prove the EU really cares about the UK beyond taking
our money.

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