Asda CEO Roger Burnley has expressed his concerns that a ‘hard’ Brexit could have “significant consequences” for food supply and quality.
He described the prospect of holdups at the UK border as “scary”, adding: “You’d be eating into the life of products with all sorts of implications for waste, for freshness, for quality.
“Like any business, we all want certainty and to know what is happening, but we want hassle-free frictionless borders, it’s number one on my list. A lot of our meat comes from Ireland, the prospect of a border control that slowed things down there would be quite dramatic on that part of our business.”
The Asda CEO is the latest in a string of retail bosses worried about Brexit, last September Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe warned of the “detrimental” effects of Brexit on supply chains. Tesco CEO Dave Lewis also claimed Brexit would lead to “uncertainty over future trading relations”.
An open letter was sent to Theresa May by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) asking for “a fair deal for consumers”. The BRC said in its letter it wanted tariff-free trade, customs arrangements that are “as frictionless as possible”, certainty for EU workers in the UK and the “continuity of existing EU legislation as it transfers to the UK”.