Poultry industry blasts Boris and blame Brexit pressures for crazy chicken prices

Rees-Mogg slammed by O'Brien over Brexit 'self-harm' comment

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The Prime Minister appeared on Good Morning Britain earlier this week as he was interviewed by the show’s lead host Susanna Reid. Ms Reid took Mr Johnson to task on several issues affecting penny-pinching Brits, including chicken prices which the Prime Minister said was “crazy”. Mr Johnson’s comments come after the British Retail Consortium said shop price inflation had accelerated to 2.7 percent from a year ago in April.

The rate is the fastest since 2011 and up from 2.1 percent in March, according to Bloomberg.

The British Poultry Council (BPC) responded by rejecting Mr Johnson’s assertion that the price rise was primarily due to global energy prices.

A BPC spokesperson said: “It is not “mainly fuel” that’s the problem, as PM said in his @GMB interview.

“It is everything. Input costs like water, labour, energy & feed are all.

“Combined with trade barriers, shipping delays for machinery plus a skills shortage (vets & lorry drivers), this all adds a cost that has to be recovered through the marketplace.

“With ongoing Brexit pressures, plus bird flu & war in Ukraine, BPC members face immense challenges.

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“If this country is going to be food secure, we require a fair system that supports UK food producers – something this Government has repeatedly failed to acknowledge since January 1, 2021, at the detriment of British poultry meat businesses.”

The BPC added: “The TCA was intended to allow British businesses to ‘trade freely’ with the European Union.

“This is not reflective in the commercial reality of third country trade.

“Repeated failure to implement controls on product entering Britain from the EU hands the EU a competitive advantage & costs BPC members millions.

“BPC members lost £85million in chicken exports to EU last year as a result of unreciprocated controls.

“They now will continue to face the burdens, costs & red tape that hinder fair competition until October 2023.”

However, the UK Government’s Brexit Opportunities Minister said last month that rising food prices had nothing to do with Brexit.

Jacob Rees-Mogg told LBC in April: “There is a global inflation in food prices which has nothing to do with Brexit.”

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He added: “The fact that the wheat price has gone up because, partly, the invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s forces, is not something I was speculating on in the run-up to Brexit.”

The ex-chair of the European Research Group also suggested Brexit Britain was helping alleviate the impact of the cost of living crisis.

Mr Rees-Mogg claimed: “With the trade deals we are doing – and particularly important with Australia and New Zealand – we are taking tariffs off food, footwear and clothing.”

However, Mr Rees-Mogg has since dropped plans to remove Brexit border checks after admitting it could cost up to £1billion.

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