The hospitality industry has been at the forefront of developing policies recognising the importance of sustainability. Driven by understanding customers will spend more on sustainable hospitality.
As hospitality businesses and the millions of people working with them, hopefully, continue to emerge and work through the coronavirus pandemic, they do so very much weaker from it. Debates will continue for decades on the effectiveness of government’s management of the pandemic, but alarmingly, whilst suffering from the pandemic continues, in the background the ongoing impact of Brexit is greater.
The government set up the Office for Budget Responsibility in 2010 to provide independent and authoritative analysis of the UK’s public finances. Richard Hughes, Chair of the OBR spoke last week post Budget with the BBC’s Economics Editor, Faisal Islam.
The interview can be seen below where the OBR’s Chair explains that data collected throughout the pandemic now shows the long term economic impact and cost to the UK economy from Brexit is set to be double that of the pandemic. Yes, that is correct – DOUBLE.
NEW OBR’s Richard Hughes on Brexit –
“so far the data that we’ve seen on impact of Brexit, especially taking into account fact new trading arrangements came in in January is broadly consistent with assumption we had, which is that it would reduce our long run GDP by around 4%” pic.twitter.com/lRTHYpgYga
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) October 27, 2021
Brexit is now also clearly having a negative impact on the UK’s efforts to be more sustainable and therefore also negative in combating climate change.
New analysis by the cross-party, cross-industry UK Trade and Business Commission projects that replacing the trade lost between the UK and the EU since 2018 with trade from other countries could increase emissions from shipping to and from the UK by 88%.
The Office for National Statistics reported a 23.1% fall in the trade of goods between the UK and the EU in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2018 while trade with other countries remained relatively unaffected, falling by 0.8% in the same period.
By weight, this is estimated to represent around 45.5million tonnes which, if shipped equally to the UK’s top 5 trading partners outside the EU, could mean an estimated 88% increase in the carbon footprint of UK shipping, 6.5million tonnes of CO2.
The projected carbon footprint of this change in policy is equivalent to approximately 44,000 full flights between London and New York annually, more than four times the number currently undertaken in a normal year. To offset this increase in emissions, it’s estimated that the government would need to plant a forest around the size of Northern Ireland.
The pandemic to date has done huge damage to hospitality, as an industry that embraces sustainability, facing the realities of Brexit is now the last thing needed.
As the procurement of food and drink in hospitality is the single largest contributor to climate change, unfortunately the people and skills shortages in UK farming has also limited hospitality’s ability to procure UK products. What a mess.
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Hospitality & Catering News: Brexit, twice as bad as Covid, a disaster for climate change, and for hospitality procurement. – 30 October 2021 – Brexit, twice as bad as Covid, a disaster for climate change, and for hospitality procurement.
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