Agri-food must not be a Brexit sacrificial pawn

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Agri-food must not be a Brexit sacrificial pawn

Related tags: United kingdom

In just a few days’ time the nation will decide who will be walking through the door of No 10 and taking charge of the Brexit negotiations with Europe – without doubt one of the biggest issues facing the UK generally and the food supply chain, more specifically, in a generation.

Despite opinion polls closing the gap between Labour and the Conservatives, most commentators and industry figures believe the only question remaining is the size of Theresa May’s majority.

And I use her name rather than that of her party in this context, since this election campaign has increasingly descended into bitter rows about personalities.

One can only hope that after the appalling suicide bombing of the Manchester Arena on Monday May 22, and the more recent terrorist attack on London Bridge, politicians of all persuasions will be deterred from any more gutter attacks on their opposite numbers in an attempt to prove who has the most patriotic credentials. Don’t forget the words of Britain’s great man of letters Samuel Johnson: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Serious questions remain to be answered

Serious questions remain to be answered about whether May’s hand on the tiller of Brexit negotiations will be “strong and stable”​ or “weak and wobbly”,​ as suggested by some of the political U-turns she has made in the run-up to the general election.

One thing is certain though – stakeholders in UK food and drink need to get their act together and make a more convincing case in lobbying the next government to negotiate a good deal for the sector over the coming two years.

If they don’t, UK agri-food could become marginalised and a casualty of the political horse-trading that will inevitably take place between the UK and EU.

Related topics: Legal

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