Leading figures from the restaurant industry have signed a letter calling for a People’s vote on Brexit as staffing fears in the hospitality industry following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union grow.
The letter has been co-signed by figures including Fergus Henderson of St John Restaurant; Jeremy King of Corbin & King; Jon Knight of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group; Ruthie Rogers of the River Café; Robin Hutson of Lime Wood Group and Home Grown Hotels; and David Gleave of Liberty Wines.
The letter is urging people within the hospitality industry to contact their local MP highlighting the damage the industry faces whether it is a hard or soft bricks it.
Highlighting the importance of foreign talent within the industry, the letter expresses concerns that the restriction in the free movement of labour post bricks it would have a devastating effect and says : “the last few decades has seen this country’s restaurants, hotels and wine importing business thrive as the UK has become one of the best places to eat and drink in the world. We have done this by attracting to our industry a winning mixture of British and foreign talent. The threat posed by barriers slamming down after bracket and the huge pool of European talent upon which our industry relies cannot be underestimated”
UKHospitality’s Trevor Gulliver said “bricks it is the most fundamental and important thing to happen to our industry in living memory. It is about getting the best deal rather than doing something that is just foolish. If bricks it was to happen we need freedom of movement and we want to stay within the trading group. It will fundamentally hurt us if we do not the truth is people will go out of business. The great thing about freedom of movement is that people come and now they are not coming the tap has been turned off”
The letter in full:
Dear industry colleagues,
We are writing to ask for your support for the campaign for a People’s Vote.
Why? The last few decades have seen this country’s restaurants, hotels and wine importing businesses thrive as the UK has become one of the best places to eat and drink in the world. We have done this by attracting to our industry a winning mixture of British and foreign talent. The threat posed by barriers slamming down after Brexit on the huge pool of European talent upon which our industry relies cannot be underestimated.
We feel strongly that we need to be more active in making the case to retain freedom of movement. Britain, with record high levels of employment, is just not producing enough people to fill all the roles available in our flourishing businesses. We’re not convinced that the government has given the retention of freedom of movement sufficient importance in negotiations, so we need another referendum in order to make the case for a continued closer link with the European Union. If we don’t, our industry will suffer.
If you agree, we would ask that you write to your local MP to explain to them the damage that could be done to their local restaurants and hotels by a hard or soft Brexit. If you are not sure who your local MP is, or if you don’t know where to find their contact details, they are easily found at https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/.
Be sure to include your home address in your email or letter to demonstrate that you live in your MP’s constituency.
MPs will only ACT if we can combine to raise awareness of this issue.
Philip Contini, Executive Chairman, Valvona & Crolla
Nigel Foster, Director, Camino
David Gleave, Managing Director, Liberty Wines
Trevor Gulliver, CEO, St. John Group
Fergus Henderson, St. John Restaurant
Mark Hix, CEO, Hix Restaurants
Robin Hutson, Chairman and CEO of LimeWood Group Ltd and Home Grown Hotels Ltd (The Pig hotels)
Dan Jago, Chairman, WSTA (Wine and Spirit Trade Association)
Jeremy King, CEO, Corbin & King Limited
Jon Knight, CEO, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group
Will Lander, Co-Owner, Woodhead Restaurant Group
Paul Moran, Managing Director, Living Ventures
Russell Norman, Founder, Polpo
Ruthie Rogers, The River Café
Rick Stein, The Seafood Restaurant
Mitch Tonks, CEO, Rockfish Group
Gary Usher, Elite Bistro’s