A UK-first consultation has been launched to gather evidence on the biggest issues facing all industries – including farming – since Brexit.
With the UK economy rocked by a pandemic, supply chain disruption and an energy crisis, businesses across all sectors are also struggling to overcome the challenges created by the post-Brexit trading environment.
Recent estimates suggest that UK GDP is 5.5% smaller since the UK left the European Union.
This week it was also revealed that Brexit is responsible for a shortfall of 330,000 EU workers, with the figure as high as 8% in some industries.
A landmark consultation by the cross-party UK Trade and Business Commission spanning the entirety of the UK economy will seek to address these issues.
The consultation will seek to put the challenges facing the farming sector at the heart of a new trading framework for the decade ahead.
This framework, which will include short term and long term recommendations, will be submitted to ministers, with the commission pressuring the UK government to both adopt the proposals and commit to action to help the sector.
The trading framework will also propose new guidelines for future trade negotiations to ensure opportunities do not come at the cost of existing British industries.
Since forming in 2021, the commission has helped secure 10,000 new seasonal visas for agricultural workers.
Peter Norris, co-convener of the UK Trade and Business Commission, said: “The Commission has a track record of taking evidence on the acute challenges facing businesses, proposing workable solutions and pressing those in power to take action.
“This landmark, economy-wide consultation offers businesses and industries a valuable opportunity to make themselves heard and reshape the UKs trading framework for the decade ahead.”
Hilary Benn MP, co-convener of the UK Trade and Business Commission, added that the consultation would enable the day-to-day experience of British firms to influence proposals for a new trading relationship.
“We are looking not only for answers to immediate problems but also ideas for future trade agreements which can create opportunities for both established and new British export businesses.”
Written evidence can be submitted to the UK Trade and Business Commission through an online portal.