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After Brexit

Who will pick UK's fruit &veg?

If the U.K. leaves the European Union as it has voted to do, it could start a chain reaction in the fresh produce industry, according to some, possibly leading to the end of domestically grown fruit and veg, leaving the island nation to import its fresh produce.

Voters from the 'leave camp' voted on two main things: immigration and a perception that the UK was being exploited by the European Union.

According to the Guardian, 90% of domestic fruit and vegetables are "picked, graded and packed by 60,000 to 70,000 workers from overseas, mostly from eastern Europe."

The highest percentage of Leave votes was seen in the areas where the most produce is grown and harvested by these workers. But according to growers and packers the general UK population will not do this kind of work. If the immigrants are forced to leave, who is going to harvest, pack and process the fruit and vegetables?

"If we don’t have freedom of movement and they don’t replace it with a permit scheme, then the industry will just close down," John Shropshire, chairman of salad and vegetable producer G’s, told the Guardian. "No British person wants a seasonal job working in the fields. They want permanent jobs or jobs that are not quite as taxing physically."

A stop on legal immigrants would encourage illegals into the country to fill the gap and leave them wide open to corruption and abuse.

In the worst case scenario, the UK would no longer be able to produce fresh fruit and veg and would have to import it from overseas, but remember, they would no longer have the trade deals worked out by Europe and will have to renegotiate terms with individual countries. And don't forget about the currency, the first effect of the Brexit vote saw the pound drop to its lowest level in 30 years.

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