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8 ways Brexit could affect your weekly food shop

 

The newspapers have been filled with talk about chlorine-soaked chicken this week. But whilst the image of a chicken going for a dip in the local pool is pretty humorous, the story is emblematic of serious changes that the British food industry may face post-Brexit, as we aim to maintain quality, value for money and reasonable consumer prices while trying to secure free trade deals with other parts of the world with different priorities.

 

Source: FGinsight

 

1) Chlorinated Chicken

 

The chlorinated chicken furore centres around the commonplace practice of washing chicken carcasses in strongly chlorinated water in the US. The practice is banned by EU standards due to concerns that farmers use the chlorine “washes” as a replacement for systematic sanitation throughout the chicken’s life and death. It’s thought that the chemical baths are used to make up for less than desirable hygiene in farms and abattoirs, and that the EU ‘farm-to-fork’ method of raising chicken is more efficient in protecting public health. The worry is that Britain will sacrifice its high-quality animal welfare and environmental standards on this issue in order to secure a quick and easy trade deal with the US post-Brexit (disputes over such issues have derailed trade deals in the past). We could soon see chlorine-soaked chickens lining our supermarket shelves.

 

2) Hormone-Fed Beef

 

Although common in the US, the practice of pumping cattle with hormones to increase growth is banned by the EU. However, Brexit means the UK may choose to allow hormone-fed beef in pursuit of a quick trade deal with the US. The subject of hormone-fed beef has been a bone of contention between the EU and the US for years, and has posed serious problems to trade deals between the two bodies. The US Food and Drug Administration finds that the beef is safe for human consumption, however it has been linked to hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer. Not something we want with our Sunday roast.

 

Source: The Top 5 of Anything

 

3) More pesticides?

 

Under current UK regulations, a pesticide is only authorised if it is certain that it is not detrimental to health. These common-sense regulations were established with the help of, and in-line with, the rest of the EU. However there is a real risk that, on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, pressure from the agrochemical industry and the National Farmers Union to reduce the ‘red tape’ surrounding pesticides will lead to regulations being watered down. Such groups have previously expressed a wish to adopt much less stringent regulations, more in line with those of the US, whose Environmental Protection Agency authorises numerous chemicals that have been banned by the EU on health and environmental grounds. Relaxing our current guidelines would lead to higher levels of potentially dangerous pesticide residues in our food, as well as threatening pollinator species such as bees, for whom pesticides are highly toxic.

 

4) Increase in prices due to tariffs

 

Around 30% of food purchased by UK households is imported, and 70% of these imports come from the EU. This means that changes in the cost of imports from the EU are likely to hit food prices pretty hard. One way that Brexit is likely to increase your weekly food spend is through increased tariffs. The UK currently enjoys tariff-free trade with the EU, however if the UK fails to strike a free trade deal with the bloc and defaults to World Trade Organisation tariff levels, average tariffs of around 22% will be imposed. Tariffs on your food items will increase the cost of importing them and, in turn, the price you’re charged. Dutch tomatoes will be hit with a tariff of 21%, Irish beef with a tariff of 40%, and mozzarella with an eye-watering tariff of 46%.

 

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5) Increase in prices due to depreciation of the pound

 

Because imports are purchased in foreign currency, the cost of imports is also affected by exchange rates. The depreciation in the value of the pound means that more sterling is required to purchase the same bundle of imported goods. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the value of the pound fell by 13% between January 2016 and March 2017 – a fact attributed widely to the EU referendum result. Such depreciation raises the cost of importing food, thereby raising the cost of your supermarket purchases.

 

6)  Increase in prices due to customs checks

 

Our current membership of the EU eliminates the need for physical customs checks and customs duties at borders across the EU. However, if we leave the Customs Union as part of a hard Brexit deal, trade with the EU will become fraught with frictions, with the whole process being slowed considerably. Guy Platten, Chief Executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, says that this slowdown would particularly impact the import costs of fresh food products, meaning prices are likely to increase for consumers.

 

7) Strawberry Shortages?

 

Around 95% of the 29,000 workers who pick fruit on UK farms come from the EU. This means that without freedom of movement from Europe, the soft fruit industry could face a serious labour shortage. Without enough people to pick them, we face seeing our supermarket shelves devoid of iconic Great British strawberries, with those that do reach the shops potentially costing the consumer up to 50% more.

 

Source: The Guardian

 

And finally (and perhaps most importantly for chocoholics):

 

8) ‘Shrinkflation’

 

Brexit could not only affect our chicken, but also our (creme) eggs. Cadbury’s UK head, Glenn Caton, said in March that the company may be forced to employ ‘shrinkflation’  (reducing the size of the products but charging the same prices)  if the Brexit deal results in raised production costs. Could Dairy Milk go the way of Toblerone?

 

Source: The Telegraph

By Ellie Jerome

 

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Our Election Story

It is four weeks since the election, and what an election it was. We were hoping to have a couple of minutes of your time to tell you about our seven week election campaign and the incredible impact all of your donations had on the result.

 

First, we raised money and tapped into a sense of anticipation about the election. Within half an hour of the election being called, our CEO Eloise Todd was planning our crowdfunder with our Communications team. Launching a tactical voting campaign was a big risk to take as an extreme Brexit Tory landslide seemed all but inevitable. We decided that while the push to get the word out about tactical voting would be national, we would focus the bulk of our efforts on key marginals across the country and on our Best for Britain Champions.

Best for Britain backed three categories of candidate in the general election campaign:

  1. In most constituencies in England and Wales, and a few in Scotland, Best for Britain made tactical vote recommendations on the basis of our methodology. This recommendation appeared on our website and advised people to vote for these candidates to stop an extreme Brexit and limit a Tory majority.
  2. We analysed marginal constituencies and picked 132 constituencies that were either vulnerable to being gained by Conservatives or where the Conservatives could be beaten. We decided to focus our spending on these seats, particularly in the last week of the campaign.

  3. Notably, we selected 36 Best for Britain champions who were provided with an even greater level of online and offline support.

We worked hard to make sure your money went as far as possible. We analysed the poll of polls, regional polling and cross checked those against local knowledge and our private YouGov methodology, making sure we were concentrating on the right marginals and ensuring we shifted the focus and the money if needed.

While there were many factors at play in this election, we have analysed the results of where the money was invested, this is what it showed:

  1. Labour seats in which we focused our digital campaign had a greater swing than the national average. In addition, our Labour Best for Britain champions achieved an average swing of 15% compared to a national average of 9.5%.

  2. Our Liberal Democrat seats exhibited a similar pattern, with champion candidates achieving an average swing of 5% compared to a national average of -0.5%.

  3. Comparing the results with the YouGov predictive model, there is a strong basis to claim that focused campaigning efforts, such as tactical voting, were crucial in key seat gains such as Carshalton & Wallington, Kensington, Kingston & Surbiton and Twickenham that bucked the expected voting pattern.

 

Second, we invested funding in youth voter registration and engagement. Best for Britain partnered with, and directly supported, four different youth orientated organisations, including: My Life My Say, Bite the Ballot, Citizens UK and Rize Up/Bigga Fish, who focused on driving youth voter registration and turnout.

From the day the election was announced to the last day of registration 2,938,269 people registered to vote, 1,051,3008 were under 25. Although full turnout numbers have not yet been released, analysis suggests young people turned out in great numbers, higher than at any other point in the last 25 years. Our adverts were seen by 2 million people which helped contribute to this. These results are amazing and we are very proud to have played a role!

Third, Best for Britain and Gina Miller travelled around the country meeting candidates, campaigners, volunteers and constituents. in the last four weeks of the campaign, in the lead up to June 8, we visited over 16 different constituencies.

Despite horrible weather and numerous train delays we made it Norwich South where we met Clive Lewis and all his amazing volunteers.

We made a variety of videos during the election including one featuring young people calling their family members to have the tough political conversations.

In total, Best for Britain offered 543 tactical voting recommendations across England, Wales and Scotland for candidates that would fight an extreme Brexit in the next Parliament. 252 of these have been elected as MPs.

Twenty-one of Best for Britain’s champions were elected to parliament on the basis that they would stand up against extreme Brexit. These included Emma Dent Coad who, as mentioned, achieved a spectacular victory in Kensington and Tulip Siddiq, who increased her slim majority in Hampstead by over 14,000 with support from Best for Britain. Ed Davey also regained Kingston & Surbiton for the Liberal Democrats with a swing of 10% and a majority of 4,124.

 

We want to say well done to all of our candidates and, most importantly, well done to you all! Without all of our amazing supporters we would have never been able to launch our campaign and achieve all of these successes. We were one of many groups working on this and it was a great privilege to be part of what turned into something of a movement on tactical voting.

 

Very best wishes,

Best for Britain team

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We’re hiring: Content Editor

 

Job title: Content Editor

Place of work: Central London

Salary: Competitive for non-profit

Minimum experience: 5 years

Contract type: Full Time

Starting date: ASAP

 

Application Deadline: Monday 24 July 2017

Interviews: Phone Interviews 27 – 30 July, In-Person Interviews 2 – 4 August

Please send applications with CV and cover letter to: recruitment@bestforbritain.org

 

Job Profile

 

Best for Britain is a dynamic new advocacy and campaign organisation, working across the UK and key European capitals, focused on keeping all options on the table for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

 

We are seeking an experienced Content Editor with a proven track record of delivering high quality communications within a political, campaigning or policy based environment.

 

Roles/Responsibilities

 

  • Brainstorm, plan, edit and, create relevant, engaging written, graphic and video content for our website, social media sites, newsletters and other media channels;
  • Ensure the quality of content: written, visual, audio and video, including infographics;
  • Proofread copy for grammar, tone of voice and adherence to key messaging and house style, and make appropriate changes;
  • Build, develop and manage a cross organisational content calendar, ensuring that the press, members, clients, service users, stakeholders and the internal team are communicated with regularly, appropriately and effectively;
  • Manage SEO, google analytics and similar tracking systems, and produce weekly, monthly and quarterly analytical reports identifying key trends, opportunities and challenges;
  • Work to ensure a significant increase in online traffic in line with the organisation’s objectives.

 

Requirements

 

  • Proven success in delivering high quality content and communications targeting a diverse range of audiences;
  • Clear commitment to the aims of the organisation;
  • Impeccable copywriting skills, with an excellent grasp of written English language and a high attention to detail;
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to take complex information and communicate it in a easily-understandable way to a broad audience;
  • Strong research skills – you are able to be given a topic that you know little about, bring yourself up to speed on that area and produce new and engaging content on key issues;
  • Demonstrable experience and proven track record in delivering relevant, creative, engaging online content in a similar role;
  • Graphic design and video editing skills, preferably including a working knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and similar design packages;
  • A keen interest in and understanding of the EU exit process and associated political and policy issues;
  • Ability to identify, lead and drive projects from conception to completion with experience of cross organisational teams
  • Experience of working in a shifting environment and of working to short deadlines;
  • Willingness to experiment, innovate, learn and do things differently.
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We’re hiring: Head of Research

 

Job title: Head of Research

Place of work: Central London

Salary: Competitive for non-profit

Minimum experience: 8 years

Contract Type: Full Time

Starting Date: ASAP

 

Please send applications to: recruitment@bestforbritain.org

Application Deadline: Monday 24 July 2017

Interviews: Phone Interviews 27 – 30 July; In-Person Interviews 2 – 4 August

Please send applications with CV and cover letter to: recruitment@bestforbritain.org

 

Job Profile

 

Best for Britain is a dynamic new advocacy and campaign organisation, working across the UK and other European capitals, focused on keeping all options on the table for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

 

We are looking for an energetic, organised Head of Research to lead and coordinate the research effort of our campaign. The role will be fast-paced in a rapidly changing political environment. Dealing with sensitive information, candidates will be expected to work with discretion and good judgement.

 

Roles/Responsibilities

  • Analyse existing data and write comprehensive briefs to support campaign work;
  • Create, maintain and leverage partnerships and relationships with key stakeholders, policymakers, experts, agencies, governments and thought leaders to leverage the policy and research work that exists on Brexit, the UK and the EU, and work to commission more such work;
  • Define and undertake creative, policy-oriented research to the service of the campaign objectives, using official statistics and robust research practices;
  • Monitor and report on relevant political, economic, industrial and other issues and summarise for senior staff;
  • Prepare documents for the website, blog posts, talking points and briefings for senior policymakers and principals;
  • Publish articles, working papers, policy briefs, blogs and short commentaries when necessary to promote the campaign and advocacy objectives of the organisation;
  • Brief colleagues, partners and journalists on a wide range of public policy issues;
  • Track events, media coverage and social media.

Requirements

 

  • Clear commitment to the aims of the organisation;
  • Master’s degree preferred, preferably in a development-related, international relations, or economics field;
  • At least 8 years of research experience in a policy, communications or campaigning organisation;
  • A deep understanding of the key policy and political issues around the Brexit process – on the UK side and the EU side;
  • A proven track record of undertaking research that has led to media coverage and policy change;
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, equally comfortable turning research into compelling and clear briefings for journalists/policymakers or briefing them in person;
  • Background knowledge in public policy around any of the following: EU politics/immigration and migration/health/etc.;
  • Highly numerate and comfortable dealing with numbers and statistics, including the ability to present numbers and statistics in a compelling way;
  • A good network of contacts in UK politics;
  • Experience in media analysis;
  • Experience in statistical analysis;
  • Experience in parliamentary research in the UK and Brussels;
  • Experience in legal research;
  • Willingness to experiment, innovate, learn and do things differently.

 

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We’re hiring: Communications Director

 

Job title: Communications Director

Place of work: Central London

Salary: Competitive for non-profit

Minimum experience: 8 years

Contract type: Full Time

Starting date: ASAP

 

Application Deadline: Monday 24 July 2017

Interviews: Phone Interviews 27 – 30 July, In-Person Interviews 2 – 4 August

Please send applications with CV and cover letter to: recruitment@bestforbritain.org

Reports to: CEO

 

Job Profile

 

Best for Britain is a dynamic new advocacy and campaign organisation, working across the UK and other European capitals, focused on keeping all options on the table for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

 

The Communications Director is at the heart of Best for Britain’s output and strategic thinking. They will be responsible for developing and driving the implementation of an effective external communications strategy and advising on the tactics of the campaign.

 

We are seeking an experienced Communications Director with a proven track record of delivering high-profile communications within a political, campaigning or policy based environment.

 

Roles/Responsibilities

  • Shape our local, national and international communication programme, ensuring our positions are covered in the media, and as many social and media channels as relevant, with a view to influence policymakers;
  • In conjunction with Best for Britain leadership, set the short, medium and long-term communications strategy of the organisation;
  • Execute the day-to-day media strategy of the organisation;
  • Be responsible for the relevance and currency of our messaging across website, social media and all outward facing communication channels;
  • Monitor and analyse trends in the media and news-reporting on issues relevant to or affecting Best for Britain’s priority work and external profile;
  • Brief and support principals and senior staff for media appearances;
  • Generate press, TV, radio and social media coverage that helps forward the objectives of the campaign;
  • Develop a strategic communications strategy and narrative in diverse media in order to pre-empt and influence, as well as respond to, political events;
  • Draft op-eds, articles, press releases and quotes on a regular basis;
  • Maintain and build a wide circle of journalistic contacts;
  • Work with partners across all sectors on a regular basis.

 

Requirements

 

  • Proven success in delivering high quality communications, initiatives and strategies targeting a diverse range of audiences;
  • Clear commitment to the aims of the organisation;
  • Experience at the highest level of UK national, regional and local media across TV, print, social media and radio, and an understanding of how these media operate and how they interlink;
  • A good understanding of the key policy and political issues around the Brexit process;
  • A proven track record of effective use of the media to achieve change;
  • Contacts across national, regional and local media and in politics;
  • Political campaign experience an asset;
  • A clear understanding of how research, advocacy, operations, campaigning, digital and media functions work together and how media can maximise the impact of an organisation;
  • Experience of working in a shifting environment and of working to short deadlines;
  • Experience of working with high profile figures essential;
  • Willingness to experiment, innovate, learn and do things differently.

 

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Message from the Best for Britain team

Dear supporters,

The polls have just closed. For the last six weeks we’ve been working, with your support, to fight extreme Brexit. We are so grateful for your support and we’ve met so many great people on the campaign trail.

Here’s a snapshot of what we have done over the period of the campaign:

  1.  Delivered a voter registration campaign among young people and women in particular, working with fantastic partners like Bite the Ballot, Citizens UK, RizeUp and MLMS. Our campaign reached two million people.
  2. Supported 36 candidate champions with donations and other campaign support such as visits to get them media coverage.
  3. We have also supported another 100 candidates with targeted digital campaigning.
  4. Built a tactical voting dashboard (now put into retirement until the next election) to show people how to avoid extreme Brexit and limit a Tory majority.  The Dashboard has had over half a million unique users and some marginals got more visits than the size of their majority – many times over!
  5. A national digital campaign to drive tactical voting.

The top searched constituencies where we’ve made a clear call were the following which shows just how important the marginal fights will be tonight. Four out of these five are among our champions (all except Bath):

  1.     Bath
  2.     St Albans
  3.     Brighton Pavilion
  4.     Vauxhall
  5.     Maidenhead

When we started this in April, polling we commissioned from Election Data and YouGov showed a potential 188 seat majority for Theresa May. We decided we needed to dent that majority and also to fight for strong voices to oppose Brexit.

None of this would have been possible without your support, so a massive thank you from every single one of us in the extended Best for Britain family – which has become larger as we met new friends along the way.

We’ll be updating our supporters like you with email (sign up here if you haven’t yet) and on Twitter throughout election night with the latest news.

Very best wishes

 

Eloise and the team

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This is why we need to vote tactically

This is a guest post by Mike Galsworthy of Scientists for EU

For those of us that care deeply about British science, our NHS and the environment, there’s an absolute imperative to fight the narrow vision of Britain’s future that a landslide for May would usher in. With science; the absurd immigration target combined with being ripped from our collaborative frameworks of policy, regulation, infrastructure and talent would gut UK science & tech from its fertile bedding. With the NHS, our already strained staffing and finances have become more perilous thanks to Brexit, with losses in innovative medicines and cross-border healthcare following close behind.

A looming US-UK trade deal would likely be led by healthcare companies keen to exploit NHS weaknesses and permanently lock into our national health system. With our environmental standards, the vultures of deregulation are already circling.

Democracy is about more than ticking a box within a limited set of options, then shutting up until you are allowed to tick another box, years later. Democracy is about constant education, conversation, challenge and mobilisation across society. People speaking for themselves.

Tactical vote

Since the referendum vote, with the top-down layer peeled away, many groups have continued to emerge and grow on their own terms – determined to have their say. Alongside our own Scientists for EU there are the campaigns Best for Britain, European Movement, Britain for Europe, Open Britain, and countless regional groups. Many of them care little for party politics and are openly driving the tactical vote. There’s a huge appetite to oust the most dangerous Hard Brexiteers and, absent proportional representation, attain balance by coordinated effort.

Pandora’s box

This is no Remoaner sulk; it is a drive of engagement. Brexit is the Pandora’s Box of our time. It is hard to know at this stage how the volatile landscape will unfold. Remain must be kept on the table, but only to be used as a get-out-of-jail card if the populace clearly wants it. Anything else would indeed be a betrayal.

But let us not forget that things change over time, including economics and even the EU. Macron and Merkel are now discussing previously unthinkable treaty-change. Is there a new European framework to be had?

Ultimately, the position is this; pragmatics must trump wild ideology. The breadth of the British population must have fair representation in deciding our future. We cannot trash our decades of teamwork in science, health, and environment because the tabloid press bellows intimidation. Real solutions that serve the country come from creative compromises, not from rabid ideology head-butting a brick wall. The referendum was a 48-52 divide. That’s Britain. We need a parliament to represent its healthy diversity as we tackle the complexities ahead.

That means voting tactically.

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Board Member Anatole Kaletsky says May is appealing to UKIP

Best for Britain board member Anatole Kaletsky writes in The Times that Theresa May is “guilty of introducing two serious falsehoods into British politics – and then repeating them incessantly until they appear self-evident.

Mrs May’s first big lie was, and still is, that the British people voted last year not only to leave the European Union but also to end the free movement of people between the EU and Britain. Her second big lie, which follows from the first, is that “the voice of the people” has instructed her to withdraw from the European single market and customs union, even though these commercial arrangements are clearly beneficial to the British economy.

Since neither free movement nor the single market was on the referendum ballot, how can Mrs May claim her unimpeachable mandate to dismantle both? Mrs May claims inspiration from the “will of the people,” but where is the evidence that voters really want to end free movement and leave the single market?

Amazingly, neither the opposition parties nor the media have demanded such evidence from Mrs May in the election campaign. Best of Britain, the campaign for tactical voting whose board I chair, therefore commissioned YouGov to add some questions on these issues to their regular poll on voting intentions conducted last week for The Times.

Asked whether the government should try for a deal to stay inside the single market, 50 per cent of voters wanted to stay in, against only 21 per cent who backed the government’s decision not to try. The remaining 29 per cent said “don’t know”.

As remarkable as this two-to-one opposition was its spread across almost all age groups, regions and political allegiances. Even Conservative voters and people over 65, who are overwhelmingly pro-Brexit, wanted the government to try for a single market deal. In fact, the only sub-group of voters supporting Mrs May’s position on the single market were people who intend to vote Ukip on June 8.

We therefore posed the sort of question that a constructive Brexit negotiation would address: “Do you think our government should offer EU citizens the right to travel, work, study or retire in Britain, in exchange for EU countries giving British citizens the same rights?”

Again, public opinion strongly contradicted Mrs May’s intransigent stance. The YouGov sample overwhelmingly supported free movement: by 62 per cent against 17 per cent, with 21 per cent don’t knows. Every regional, political and demographic group also supported this position with one sole exception: Ukip voters, who opposed reciprocal free movement by 35 to 43 per cent.

The conclusion is clear. The voice of the people that Mrs May claims to follow is really just the voice of Ukip. Such cynically selective attention may be convenient for a Tory leader trying to gain parliamentary seats by absorbing Ukip. But a prime minister must do what is best for the country, not best for her party. Mrs May could start by listening honestly to what the people of Britain are saying about Europe, instead of falsely claiming a mandate to do whatever it takes to please the groups who will advance her own political career.”

See the YouGov data yourself

You can see the full YouGov data here.

Please do visit www.bestforbritain.org and use our tactical vote dashboard to see who you should vote for to stop an extreme Brexit.

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