Leading vet: ‘UK has become a hard sell’

A Leeds-based vet has told a veterinary conference in Portugal that the UK “has become a hard sell” as a result of Brexit, which is doing “untold damage” to the profession.

Jason Aldiss was speaking at the ‘9th Training  Meeting’ of Portugal’s Veterinary Medical Association (EFMOV) in Lisbon, which was held on Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7.

Aldiss is the managing director of Eville & Jones in Leeds, a firm that provides vets to abattoirs across England and Wales.

The UK veterinary profession is reliant on the free movement of vets. Despite 95% of official veterinarians coming from abroad, the British Government has failed to add vets to the ‘Shortage Occupation List’ of high-demand employees.

“Since the EU referendum in 2016, many of my staff have returned to their country of origin. Finding replacements has been incredibly difficult given the deepening uncertainties Brexit has created,” said Aldiss.

“To put it bluntly, the UK has become a hard sell,” he added.

Aldiss, who is also the secretary general of the union of European Veterinary Hygienists, claimed that Brexit has been a “disaster”, and he called for politicians to admit this.

Brexit has been a test for MPs but, as events of the past few weeks have shown, few have been able to rise to the challenge.

“Most politicians I speak to, including many who campaigned for leave, concede that Brexit is now a failed experiment. We are told that the House of Commons is strongly pro-remain, but few of its occupants have been prepared to stand and fight for the country to stay in the EU,” he argued.

Aldiss also suggested that the current talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn would only bring about a ‘soft Brexit’ – an arrangement that would be Brexit ‘in name only’ but would not give the UK a say in EU laws and procedures.

“I am strongly in favour of pulling the Brexit plug by revoking Article 50. This would create the time and space for the UK to reevaluate its relationship with our European neighbors and allow diplomatic bridges to be rebuilt,” argued Aldiss.