British Growers chief executive Jack Ward has warned Dominic Raab’s reassurance the British BLT was safe from a no-deal Brexit ‘could not be more wrong’.
The minister moved to reassure the British public the sandwich would not be under threat post-Brexit but, with threats to seasonal labour and frictionless trade, Jack Ward warned there could be issues.
He highlighted the recently published technical papers which he believed spelled out the issues in ‘fairly understandable language’.
He said with the UK importing around 80 per cent of its tomato production, the warnings over considering the impact on supply chains were worrying.
“We need this frictionless trade they keep promising,” he said.
“We have not yet had an answer about seasonal labour. As we rely on workers coming in from Eastern Europe, we do not have the labour. I would say to you your BLT probably is not all that safe.”
Mr Ward said the industry needed frictionless trade with Europe and to know if they would need to implement tariffs.
“We import 60 per cent of mushrooms,” he said.
“And the exchange rate is making the whole process very hard for Ireland. How many Irish producers will want to be selling us mushrooms with the tariffs? How many will be in business?”
On labour, he added they needed a scheme which would enable them to access labour from both within and outside the EU.
He added they had these schemes in other parts of the EU allowing them to access non-EU seasonal labour and called for the UK to do the same.