Barry Gardiner, Labour’s shadow international trade secretary, today met with a London-based export business to discuss the impact that uncertainty around leaving the EU is having on business.
On his visit to the Café Asia food manufacturer in Dollis Hill, Barry Gardiner MP said:
“Here’s a business that has recently expanded, has strong sales and is attracting growing orders from all the major European markets. Yet as a result of the Government’s refusal to lay out its plan for leaving the EU and the huge drop in the value of the pound, this SME is facing losses of hundreds of thousands of pounds next year.
“While Theresa May faces tough discussions on her trade mission to India, food suppliers in the UK like Café Asia are facing impossible choices: increasing their prices could risk losing their contracts to supply supermarkets; and laying off staff will limit their ability to grow.
“The British people voted to leave the EU not to close down British businesses or lose jobs. Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy. Yet the government has put forward no plan to reassure entrepreneurs across the country about stable pricing for their supply chains or to convince them that what is lost from the EU can be made up by access to new markets
“The director of Café Asia made it clear that business needs strong parliamentary scrutiny over the terms of how Britain leaves the EU and our future trade opportunities. We must make sure we get a deal that works for business. They provide the jobs upon which our economy depends.”
Notes to Editors
- Barry Gardiner is the Member of Parliament for Brent North and Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade
- Starting out as a family business in 1984, Café Asia has seen rapid expansion in recent years, overcoming limits to growth in the mature UK market by exporting to Europe. The business now makes regular appearances at major trade shows in France and Germany, and also includes Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Ireland among its export destinations.