FDF urges new PM to avoid no-deal Brexit

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Boris Johnson has been named the new leader of the Conservative party and the UK's new prime minister. Image from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 license
Boris Johnson has been named the new leader of the Conservative party and the UK's new prime minister. Image from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 license
Food and Drink Federation chief executive Ian Wright has urged new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to steer away from a no-deal Brexit, or risk “destroying” the industry.

The FDF’s comments followed the announcement of Johnson as the next leader of the Conservative Party, taking over from current leader Theresa May and the premiership, from tomorrow (Wednesday 24 July).

Responding to the election of the new Conservative leader, Wright said the impact of a no-deal Brexit would destroy the UK’s £4bn food chain ability to boost exports, develop talent and encourage innovation.

Serious and mortal damage’

“It will inflict serious and – in some cases mortal – damage on UK food and drink. Prices will rise, there will be significant shortages of some products, and disruption for shoppers and consumers will be far-reaching,”​ said Wright.

“We urge the new Prime Minister and Government to work with us to deliver a withdrawal agreement that guarantees the closest possible trade and regulatory relationship with our nearest neighbours, so UK food and drink can flourish.”

Johnson beat political rival Jeremy Hunt in a ballot of party members, winning 92,153 votes to Hunt’s 46,656 from a turnout of 87.4%. In his victory speech, delivered at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London, Johnson said he would “deliver Brexit and unite the country”.

Meanwhile, export tariffs and customs disruption will seriously affect food availability and the UK economy​ in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a report by MPs.

Related topics: Brexit, People & Skills

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