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NPA urges Prime Minister to 'bring home the bacon'

10th Dec 2018 / By Alistair Driver

National Pig Association (NPA) chairman Richard Lister has written to Prime Minister Theresa May voicing his support for her Withdrawal Agreement.

may brexitAhead of what was scheduled to be a defining vote in the House of Commons, the timing of which is now unclear after Mrs May delayed it, Mr Lister said the pig sector recognised ‘the profound challenges posed by Brexit and the difficult decisions that will need to be made’.

“However, our members have been clear that a well negotiated Brexit could open up opportunities, and allow our sector to thrive,” he wrote.

“It is for these reasons that we are supporting the Withdrawal Agreement that you have negotiated with the European Union. We firmly believe that a ‘no deal’ would offer a severe threat to our sector, given our integration on standards with Europe, and the need to continue to export pork products to the EU, and to import products such as feed, building supplies and veterinary medicines.

“At the same time, the agreement provides our unsubsidised sector with further opportunities to export our product around the globe through an independent trade policy. This underlines our view that the Withdrawal Agreement offers the best approach on the table.”

Mr Lister thanked Mrs May and her Government for their ongoing engagement with the pig sector this year. He stressed that the UK pig sector, with a retail, food service and export value of £14 billion, was ‘ready to make the most of the many opportunities offered by the UK leaving the European Union’.

On top of the potential multi-faceted changes brought about by Brexit, 2019 will be the 20th anniversary of the formation of NPA, which emerged from the biggest crisis in the British pig sector’s history.

“Whatever else 2019 brings, the NPA and its members look forward to continue working closely with you and your Government to ensure these aspirations are met, and that our industry can thrive,” Mr Lister wrote.

The NPA also sent the Prime Minister a Christmas gift of a bacon cookbook  on behalf of members. Mr Lister wrote: “I hope that it will encourage you to steel your resolve and ‘bring home the bacon’ for us!”