Garden industry figures prepare for Europe vote

Europe remains a thorny subject for garden industry professionals ahead of the referendum on 23 June.

Hayloft Plants owner Derek Jarman said: "My gut feeling is we should remain in Europe for free movement of goods and services and labour, but I rather feel the country is heading for an exit."

Bringing in labour might be more difficult, he suggested, as will be exporting, to QVC Italy, for instance. Jarman said "Brexit" might be good for growers but not for retailers. The Government needs to explain the consequences more, he added.

Scotts general manager Sheila Hill said: "We source products from Europe so the euro versus the pound is important for us. Whatever happens, we will still be strong as a business and it won't affect the way we operate.

Bayer group brand manager Christina Bouzala pointed out that "Brexit" would affect "everyone and everything", adding that collective working is a good thing and she hopes people will vote on that. If the vote is for a split, she said she expects trade barriers to come up. "We have to admit the dream of one united Europe is not realistic anymore but as a market, to compete with the US and China, it still stands."

Neudorff UK sales director Jude Beharall said: "I don't see Brexit doing anything for us from an economic perspective because we're too small. For us in the UK as a stand-alone entity, I don't think things will be any different."

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