LONDON Dec 1 The bosses of Sainsbury's
, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons have
said Britain's food and supermarket sector will need continued
access to EU migrant labour after the country leaves the
The heads of companies which employ 925,000 people in
Britain's food industry wrote to The Times on Thursday to call
on the government to ensure tariff-free access to the EU single
market was maintained after Brexit, including access to labour.
"The sector needs access to EU and non-EU seasonal and
permanent labour, alongside assurances that EU workers already
working permanently in the UK are allowed to remain," said the
bosses of 75 companies in a letter.
"This access to labour is essential as it underpins the UK
food chain's timely delivery of high-quality, affordable food to
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will trigger
the two-year negotiation process for leaving the bloc before the
end of March, but it is not clear what sort of deal the two
sides will strike over trade and the movement of people.
Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe put his name to the
letter alongside other retail bosses, farming union bosses and
the chief executives of cereal manufacturer Weetabix and cheese
and butter maker Dairy Crest.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)