Brexit: where are we and what are we heading towards?

The National Pig Association (NPA) Senior Policy Advisor provides his rundown of the latest events at Westminster and how this will affect UK pig producers.

31 August 2019, at 9:30am

NPA Senior Policy Advisor Ed Barker has been providing the nation's pig producers with regular updates on the progress (or lack thereof) of Brexit negotiations and this week sees a rather "excited and excitable Westminster bubble" at the news that the Prime Minister will 'prorogue' Parliament.

Anti-Brexit march outside Westminster with UK and EU flags

Barker describes proroguing Parliament as a common formality whereby a Parliamentary session is brought to an end before its natural course of a year. This prevents Parliament and Government from meeting or debating throughout the duration, which has never exceeded three weeks. The current prorogation, granted by the Queen on Wednesday this week (28 August), is set at five weeks - considerably longer than normal.

This move has been criticised by opposition and it has been suggested that this is an attempt to "thwart an anti no-deal coalition", though Prime Minister Boris Johnson denies this.

MPs will return to Parliament from around 14 October 2019, close to the UK's stated date for leaving the EU. Barker says that the coming weeks will be "a frenetic time" to ensure the pig industry and the agricultural sector as a whole are taken into account in all decision-making and negotiations which could make or break the industry.

Ed Barker describes this week's Brexit news in full on the NPA website.