CLA Joins Forces with Food Industry to Call For Best Possible Access to Single Market

01 December 2016

The CLA is one of 75 signatories to a letter setting out the importance of retaining best possible access to the single market and retaining access to the labour the countryside needs.

The letter was sent to the Prime Minister and to The Times.

The letter to The Times reads as follows:

Sir, The result of the EU referendum presents particular challenges as well as opportunities for the UK food chain. A settlement that recognises the critical role of the UK food chain will demonstrate how Brexit can be beneficial not just for our sector but for the wider economy too. We represent the four UK farming unions and 71 leading food businesses, with a collective turnover of more than £92 billion and employing more than 925,000 people across the UK.

For our sector, maintaining tariff-free access to the EU single market is vital. It is where 75 per cent of our food exports go, so all our farming and food businesses wish to achieve this outcome. The sector needs access to EU and non-EU seasonal and permanent labour, alongside assurances that EU workers already working permanently in the UK are allowed to remain.

This access to labour is essential as it underpins the UK food chain’s timely delivery of high-quality, affordable food to consumers. We urge the government to pursue both these goals, for the benefit of the whole of society and the economy.

The CLA has published a series of briefings which set out the 'New Opportunities' that government can help deliver for the rural economy post-Brexit. These cover the need for a world-leading UK Food, Farming and Environmental policy, trade, regulations, and  access to the labour market. Click here to read the CLA's New Opportunities briefings.