Hung parliament: the industry reacts

A hung parliament following the UK general election has led to more uncertainty for the baking industry.

Although the Conservatives emerged as the largest party, Prime Minister Theresa May ended with 12 fewer seats before she called the election.

The Tories are currently on 318 seats, Labour with 261, SNP with 35 and Lib Dems with 12.

“Stability and sense of direction”

Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, told British Baker that like all industries, the bakery sector is looking for a government that is in a position to address the challenges the country faces.

“It has to be the case that given economic uncertainty and Brexit negotiations looming, we need our government, of whatever complexion, to bring stability and a sense of direction as soon as possible,” Polson said.

“Clarity and certainty”

Meurig Raymond, president for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), said that members need “clarity and certainty” for the food and farming sector.

“British farming underpins the country’s largest manufacturing sector and with farming arguably the sector most impacted by Brexit,” Raymond said. “NFU members need clarity and certainty as soon as possible over who will govern the country and how they plan to support profitable, productive and progressive agriculture and horticulture in the future.

“The NFU will be seeking early meetings with Ministers. It is important for our industry to have clarity and see certainty from a functioning administration as soon as possible.”

“We need leadership at this uncertain time”

While Ian Wright, director general of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), gave a similar verdict to the NFU, calling on “leadership at this uncertain time”.

“Politicians across all the parties must come together to deliver in the national interest so the UK's £110 billion food and farming industry can continue to thrive,” Wright said. “The Brexit clock is ticking loudly and the country will not forgive a failure to act.”

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