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It’s no surprise the triumphant post-Corbyn Conservative party has swiftly weakened itself with yet another spell of infighting. It’s what they do best. But for anyone currently grappling with the basics of Brexit, ie the general population, David Cameron trying to convince everyone Brexit would be a disaster while his close colleagues do the opposite makes it difficult to know who to believe. That’s not especially unusual where politicians are involved, but the situation is exacerbated by the fact that no precedent for Brexit exists, meaning no-one knows precisely what the long-term effect of Brexit would be, whatever they might claim.

Outside the political sphere it’s inevitable that fmcg, which employs one in seven people in the UK, will have considered Brexit carefully. Many signed a letter to The Times last week saying Britain would be better off in a reformed EU, yet others, including Tesco, the biggest private sector employer in the UK, have opted to swerve the debate altogether. The issue is currently under discussion at the FDF, and The Grocer will update on their decision as soon as they make it. But Brexit isn’t just about jobs, or imports and exports. A huge range of food and drink related issues have come under the spotlight, from farming, food fraud, the price of raw materials and more.

The Grocer will cover them in detail before 23 June arrives, as well as reveal an exclusive poll of what the industry thinks. Until then, if there is any consensus out there it’s that Brexit will be excruciatingly slow. If you were already finding Brexit dull wait until it’s still being argued about in 2026. The best fmcg industry-related example is when Greenland, with a population of just 50,000 people and one industry (fishing), opted to leave the EEC (the predecessor to the EU) in 1982 after a (close) referendum sparked by a row over fishing rights. It took three years to negotiate its way out. Clearly the UK is more complex and would take at least a decade, if not even longer, to do similar. The prospect of such staggering mundanity threatening to become soporific reality is a fabulous reason to remain in.

At least before then, fun times lie ahead. The prospect of David Cameron versus Boris Johnson in a live TV debate is a humdinger, seeing as Johnson’s speciality is tub-thumping speeches and Cameron’s job is on the line. And for now, the prospect hangs in the balance more than the PM would like. According to oddschecker.com, 55.05% of bets are being placed on ‘Stay’ at 4/11 while 44.95% are being placed on Brexit at a far more generous 9/4. So ‘Stay’ looks likely, but a Daily Mail front page about Brits being able to sell a pound of sausages again could tip the balance.

For now, with a lack of clarity and certainty pervading the entire debate, it’s tricky to know what to conclude over the prospect of Brexit. But now that respected political heads both dead and alive (and Boris Johnson) have come out in favour of Brexit, the empirical dial seems to be swinging gently towards it. So if anyone in the food and drink industry does favour staying in Europe, now might be the time to come out and say it.