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Food manufacturers vote against Brexit in poll

16 March 2016

Food and drink manufacturers have overwhelming endorsed remaining in the EU, according to an industry poll.

The Food and Drink Federation found that 71 per cent of its members said they supported the ‘remain’ option. Around 17 per cent said their company chooses not to express a preference, while 12 per cent voted for ‘leave’. The response rate was 50 per cent.

“Members identified the single market, access to raw materials and the free movement of labour among key considerations in coming to their view,” said Ian Wright CBE, director general of FDF.

“FDF members also helped to identify priorities for ongoing EU reform that would boost our sector's long term competitiveness. These included increasing access to non-EU markets to boost exports of finished goods and ensure imports of required ingredients, safeguarding free movement of labour within the EU and tackling unnecessary red tape, in particular to ensure consistent interpretation and implementation of EU employment regulation.

“Of course, FDF is a representative of all of its members; so we completely respect those (17 per cent of those voting) whose business chose not express a preference and those (12 per cent of those voting) who supported the 'leave' option. We speak on behalf of our membership as a whole, not on behalf of any single member company.

“I am delighted that our Executive Committee felt strongly that we should have a clear point of view on the most important issues facing our industry. Few are more important than the EU referendum and our point of view is clear – the UK should remain a member.”


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