Gove Recycling Plan – Food and drink industry bodies warn Brexit-related pressures could force the Government to halt a series of consultations and policy initiatives that affect recycling.
Gove Recycling Plan. Secretary Michael Gove was told in a letter by the heads of 32 food, framing and drink trade associations that if he persisted, they would take this as a sign of bad faith and might refuse to co-operate. Therefore, he should pause as a matter of “great urgency” consultations on all food, farming and environmental issues.
The heads want consultations paused such as the bottle deposit return scheme for England and Wales, a consistent national recycling collection service and the proposed tax on plastic goods with less than 30% recycled content.
In the letter, the associations told Gove: “Businesses throughout the UK food chain, and their trade associations, are now totally focused on working to mitigate the catastrophic impact of a no-deal Brexit. Large amounts of time, money, people and effort are being diverted to that end.”
The letter has also been signed by the National Farmers’ Union, the Food and Drink Federation and the International Meat Trade Association.
“At this moment of potential crisis for our industry, it cannot be ‘business as usual’ within government.”
“Neither we nor our members have the physical resources nor organisational bandwidth to engage with and properly respond to non-Brexit related policy consultations or initiatives at this time. The Government has recruited many extra staff; we cannot.”
They further urged Gove to pause all food and drink-related consultations and said that, if this did not happen, “it will be seen by some as a sign of bad faith and many organisations may decline to respond.”
Defra said Gove would issue a formal response to the letter “in due course”. A Defra spokesperson added: “Leaving the EU with a deal remains the Government’s top priority, and we are meeting weekly with representatives from our food and drink industry to help prepare for all scenarios.