Reactions to the EU Referendum from the food industry
24 June 2016 • Author(s): Victoria White, Digital Content Producer
Britain has voted to leave the European Union (EU).
Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, commented on the news and its implications for the dairy industry: “The UK dairy industry is adaptable, resilient and determined, with the skills and innovation to rise to the many challenges we encounter. Dairy UK did not take a side in this debate because we knew that regardless of the result, we would continue to operate in a global dairy market place and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to give the public nothing but the best of UK dairy.
“Dairy UK will continue to liaise with the UK Government, devolved administrations and all relevant organisations to promote the interests of the UK dairy sector and help to steer our industry in the right direction.
“We have an outstanding UK industry producing world-class products and our people have the ambition and the determination to succeed.”
Finding a way through
In March, a comprehensive poll of food and drink manufacturers carried out by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) saw more than two thirds of those responding support the ‘remain’ option. A further 17% responded ‘my company chooses not to express a preference’ while 12% expressed support for the ‘leave’ option.
Ian Wright CBE, Director General at FDF, responded to the vote to leave: “In March we released the results of a poll of our members which showed 70% support for britain to remain in the EU. It’s inevitable in the light of those results that the majority of FDF members will regard this as a disappointing result for the food and drink industry.
“Now FDF will work on behalf of our members and all those across our industry to find a way through this very challenging period that we face. We’ll focus on working with the Government to understand what this means for trading, market access and regulation to secure the best outcome for British food and drink manufacturing business and their customers.”
While the overall result was a ‘leave’ vote, Scotland voted in favour of the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38%. This has led to speculation that Scotland will hold a second vote on independence. Indeed, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland said a second independence referendum is “highly likely”.
David Thomson, Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF) CEO, commented on this potential outcome: “In Scotland it also raises the chances of there being a further referendum on independence. This risks more uncertainty for the businesses in both Scotland and the rest of the UK. SFDF will work to help the industry find a way through this very challenging period that we face.”
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