Responding to the announcement of Boris Johnson as the new prime minister, Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food & Drink Federation said it was important to avoid a no deal Brexit in order to protect the sector from serious damage.
“The UK’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink, is central to our critical national infrastructure. The industry employs more than 450,000 people across the nation. UK food and drink is globally renowned for its quality, provenance and taste.
“The industry’s recently published ‘Plan for Success’ demonstrates how we can make the UK’s £4 billion food chain the most dynamic, sustainable and competitive in the world. It shows how – working in partnership with Government – we can boost exports, develop talent and encourage innovation.
“A no-deal Brexit would destroy that opportunity and much more. 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. 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.”