Hard Brexit will hit UK food supplies: farmers and supermarkets

news
01 December 2016

Supermarket bosses and farmer unions have warned the government that a hard Brexit would put food supplies in the UK at risk.

Migrant workers and tariff-free access to the single market are vital for the industry, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, the NFU and others have warned.

In a letter to The Times, the group also called for assurances that European Union citizens already working permanently in the country would be allowed to remain.

Migrant workers and tariff-free access to the single market are vital for the industry, supermarkets and farmers' groups have warned.

It comes as Boris Johnson is reported to have privately told European Union diplomats he backs freedom of movement were dismissed as a "total lie".

Four ambassadors say the foreign secretary told them he supported unrestricted migration across the bloc, according to Sky News.

"He did say he was personally in favour of free movement, as it corresponds to his own beliefs," one told the broadcaster. "But he said it wasn't government policy."

Sources dismissed the claims as a "total lie" and insisted he had "never said anything of the sort".

Johnson's spokesman said, "Boris said what he has said many times before - he is pro-immigration but wants to take back control to limit numbers.

"He did not say he supported freedom of movement and challenges anyone to show proof that he ever said that."

Labour said prime minister Theresa May must "get a grip" to end the confusion around Brexit.

Access to seasonal and permanent employees from overseas is "essential" to the food supply chain in the UK, food industry leaders said.





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