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Prime Minister to signal departure from Single Market

17th Jan 2017 / By Alistair Driver

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to signal that the UK will leave the Single Market, following its departure from the EU. 

Theresa MayMrs May is due to outline the Government's current thinking on Brexit in a major speech this morning. 

She is set to confirm the Government has no intention of retaining 'partial membership' of the EU, although it wants to continue trading with remaining member states 'as freely as possible'.

Downing Street has said she would set out 12 negotiating objectives in her speech.

Mrs May will reiterate that immigration and control of borders will be a priority in the negotiations. This is likely to effectively rule out partial membership of the Single Market.

NPA will issue a response following Mrs May's speech.

Labour concerns

Access to labour remains a major concern for the pig sector, as highlighted in an NPA survey showing the pig industry's reliance on EU labour.

This was further reinforced in an interview with Cranswick chief executive Adam Couch in the Daily Telegraph. 

He said his biggest worry was that leaving the European Union might lead to labour shortage, with between 35-65 per cent of his staff being foreign workers, predominantly from Eastern and Central Europe.

He said: “Already, people are apprehensive about coming to the UK, worried they might not be welcomed. The depreciation of the pound also means that they will be sending home less than they would have 12 months ago.

“A lot of our senior staff are now from overseas and we really value them and would not like to see anything to disrupt that. 

“Our food and drinks sector would grind to a halt without overseas workers.”