The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has held a landmark Exiting the EU event with former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg among a number of key speakers.

The event convened leading regulatory, policy and trade experts debating the best way forward for food and drink companies, as the UK attempts to create a workable future relationship with the EU.

Clegg, who is the Liberal Democrat Europe spokesperson, recently launched a paper laying out the challenges facing the UK’s food and drink industry after Brexit. He shared his thoughts and invited members of the audience to participate in a Q&A session.

Some of the key topics that were discussed included:

•             What the public and consumers want from Brexit

•             The legal and regulatory perspective on Brexit

•             What business thinks about the challenges and opportunities presented by leaving the EU

•             Expert discussions on employment and trade issues relevant to the food and drink sector

Ian Wright, FDF director general, said: “It was a pleasure to announce Nick Clegg as a speaker at FDF’s Exiting the EU event. Nick has been involved in the debate as Brexit has moved forward and his contributions have highlighted the challenges faced by the food and drink sector, especially through his recent report on the implications of Brexit for the sector.

“Following the vote to leave the EU many food and drink businesses have asked what the result means for them and how to approach key issues on employment, trade, and legal and regulatory matters. FDF’s event will address these all-important questions and will look for the answers that businesses need to plan for the future.”

Other speakers at the event included Tim Render, deputy director of food exports at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Professor Tim Lang from City University.