Brexit-related concern over tariffs and lack of care workers

Kosher food and staffing levels at the community's care homes may be affected by the UK's decision to leave.


The likely impact of Brexit on the Jewish community was being assessed this week, with the cost of kosher food high on the agenda.

Concern has been expressed that kosher meat imported from EU countries such as Ireland and Poland could be more expensive if Theresa May fails to negotiate a tariff-free trade agreement with Brussels.

Chicken feed, which is largely imported from the EU and has risen in price since the pound’s recent slump, has already led to more expensive chickens from at least one provider.

But Jackie Lipowicz, chairman of the Licensed Kosher Meat Traders Association, believed Brexit may benefit the trade. “We’ll do an agreement with Australia and New Zealand as we used to have,” he said. “If they export their beef and lamb to England, that will relieve the pressure on us.”

On kosher meat production, the government said it did not expect Brexit to affect shechita in the UK. A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said there was “a manifesto commitment to protect methods of religious slaughter”.

Meanwhile, a Jewish care home group called on the government to take the lead in minimising the impact of Brexit on the sector.

Bernadette Thomas, director of human resources at Nightingale Hammerson, said it was uncertain how leaving Europe would affect the supply of EU nationals working as care workers.

She added: “We look with interest to the government to take a lead role in securing public sector funding and setting social care high on the agenda to help charitable organisations such as ours continue to provide quality care.”

Whatever the impact, a significant number of UK Jews appear to be preparing for a possible Brexodus of their own.

Applications for German citizenship from the UK’s Jewish community have soared by 400 per cent. Before the referendum there had been around 25 applications a year; since June last year there have been around 1,000.

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