Jason Aldiss, managing director of Leeds-based veterinary services company Eville & Jones, urged MPs to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal to avoid a chaotic future for the country.
“I have believed from the outset that Brexit is an act of folly that is bad for the UK and bad for the EU,” said Aldiss.
“But we have reached the moment of truth and it has become clear that Theresa May’s Brexit deal – despite its many imperfections, is the best and only option available to avoid plunging the country into a state of chaos.”
Uncertainty for the veterinary profession
In particular, Brexit holds uncertainty for the veterinary profession, together with the food and agricultural sectors it serves, claimed Aldiss.
“Eville & Jones needs guarantees of post-Brexit access to highly-trained foreign vets to work in abattoirs and on farms, as well as lower skilled workers to fill other essential roles.
“I had hoped that the Immigration White Paper would have provided some assurances on these matters but its publication has been delayed yet again.”
In September, the Government warned that a no-deal Brexit scenario could result in food being delayed at borders due to a shortage of vets.
In a report from the National Audit Office, which outlined the progress being made on the UK’s exit from the EU, it warned that the food industry could be particularly damaged if no deal was agreed.
It said that without a significant increase in the UK’s veterinary capacity, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would be unable to process the increased volume of export health certificates it was expecting if there was no deal.
Aldiss concluded: “The wheels of Government have stopped turning and, without a Brexit deal in place, the situation will only get worse. We need a sense of momentum to return and that can only happen by the House of Commons supporting the Prime Minister’s proposals.
“It is time for MPs to rise to the challenge and place themselves on the right side of history.”