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'I don't think it means absolutely no sandwiches' - UK sandwich industry warns of no-deal Brexit

The British Sandwich Association went on BBC’s Newsnight to air their concerns.

(Click here if video doesn’t play)

THE BRITISH SANDWICH Association has warned that there could be problems getting ingredients like tomatoes and lettuce into the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Jim Winship of the group raised these concerns on the BBC Newsnight programme last night, saying the industry fears problems in getting fresh food through British ports on time.

Complicated negotiations with the EU and internal party disputes in Theresa May’s Conservative Party have raised the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The UK is due to depart the bloc on 29 March 2019 and a no-deal scenario has sparked fears about confusing travel and trade arrangements.

Asked about this, Winship said that the sandwich industry is concerned.

“I don’t think it means absolutely no sandwiches because our industry is very creative and clever at coming up with new recipes.”

But certainly there would be serious problems in terms of some of the fresh ingredients we bring in from the European Union and also from overseas. Particularly if we have problems at ports and we can’t get ingredients through, because they’re all fresh and we’ve no chance of stockpiling fresh ingredients.

“I think the answer from the sandwich industry is it’s going to limit the amount of choice consumers have if we suddenly crash out Brexit in the way that’s been talked about.”

(Click here if video doesn’t play)

Speaking on the same programme, Conservative MP Marcus Fysh dismissed the concerns as “silly”.

“I think silly season has started a bit early this year, there’s no suggestion whatsoever that  imports from the EU will be limited by our new trade agreements,” he said.

Challenged by the show’s presenter that Winship was speaking about a no-deal scenario, not new trade arrangements, Fysh said: “It’s completely, wrong. It’s a false assumption, there’s not going to be a trade blockade, by the UK, of Europe. ”

Responding to the MP, Winship said that any delay of ingredients would create a problem.

“If we suddenly have border controls being introduced that aren’t there now, that’s going to cause some massive problems with the fresh ingredients. We live in a just-in-time world. We don’t stockpile ingredients,” he said.

After appearing on the programme, Fysh suggested that Winship’s comments could be influenced by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, whose bother Patrick is CEO of major food producer and distributor Greencore.

 

Referencing this, Fysh tweeted:

PastedImage-24744 Source: Twitter/MarcusFysh

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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