Business Leaders' Forum

Coveney: ‘take no-deal Brexit action now’

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

With the threat of the UK crashing out of the EU, Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney has urged food and drink manufacturers to act on no-deal Brexit scenario contingency plans.

In the first part of this exclusive video interview – filmed at the Food Manufacture​ Business Leaders’ Forum, sponsored by law firm DWF​ – Coveney called on politicians to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU at the end of March.

“I think that ​[a Brexit deal] is likely and I’m encouraged by the sentiment and engagement within the House of Commons around the need to avoid​ [a no-deal Brexit],” said Coveney.

“I think businesses increasingly across multiple sectors are speaking as one around the imperative to avoid​ [a no-deal], regardless of what the long-term trading relationship between Britain and the EU ends up being.”

Not protected from no-deal

However, he warned that the support of a Brexit deal in parliament did not necessarily mean the UK was protected from crashing out of the EU.

“I don’t think we can take it for granted that’s going to be successful,”​ said Coveney. “There is certainly a possibility that Britain will come out of the EU without a deal at the end of March.

“As food companies, we need to prepare and take action now – including making some decisions that incur cost either directly or indirectly with our customers – in order to give us the best possible chance to be able to stay in supply with a range that works for UK shoppers.”

Meanwhile, look out for the second part of this exclusive interview, as well as more coverage from this year’s Business Leaders’ Forum in next month’s issue of Food Manufacture​​ magazine and online.

Music: Tech Live Kevin MacLeod (, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License,

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