Directors of the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival, and Ridgeview Wines join volunteers in spreading the word about the benefits that being a member of the EU brings to local businesses at the festival on Hove seafront.
Nick Mosley and Andrew Kay joined local chefs from iconic Brighton eateries, such as Terra a Terre, Pizzaface, Boho Gelato and the Curry Leaf Café, to show their support for remaining in the EU.
Many of the stalls that make up the event on Hove lawns this weekend are small businesses which benefit from being part of the single market. Without the levelling effect of EU regulation, supporters of Britain Stronger in Europe claim of many of these businesses would not be able to compete against larger businesses and may even go bust.
Nick Mosley, the Director of the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival, said: “From the vineyards and farms of Sussex to the restaurants and bars that serve us, it’s an absolute reality that we rely on the freedom of movement of people. The skills and professional dedication of our European partners are vital.
“Anything that impacts on our ability to freely employ from Europe would seriously affect our ability to deliver the quality agricultural, hospitality and tourism we enjoy. A Brexit would be tremendously to our businesses, our lifestyles and the service economy of the UK.”
Being in the EU might even be responsible for UK families eating healthier and more sustainable foods. The EU supports local farmers and promotes consistent, safe and sustainable food standards across Europe.
Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade, said: “In Brighton and Hove our food producers are primarily small businesses. Leaving the EU will create masses of red tape for them when they trade in Europe.
“Big businesses can absorb additional regulation, red tape and extra costs and if they don’t like it they can often leave the country for one they feel is a better environment for them. Small businesses simply go bust.”
Catherine Bearder, MEP for the South East, added: “The Food and Drink Festival is a great time to show how the EU promotes and protects our traditions and culture. Just as the EU recognises champagne, Parma ham and feta cheese it also protects us from cheap imitations of Cornish pasties, Cumberland sausages, Stilton cheese and, soon, Sussex wines.
“The status that the EU confers protects the identity of our traditional products and helps us sell more of them across the Europe. The EU is also considering extending this protection to traditional non-food crafts items such as the Sussex trugs. Another example of how our membership of the EU has brought great benefits to UK businesses.”