They say after Brexit there’ll be food rotting in the fields. It’s already started | John Harris

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Farms in the UK rely on fruit and vegetable pickers from the European Union. But this summer they’re staying away, and the harvest will be hit

In the wake of an ocean of writing linking Brexit to the zeitgeisty Dunkirk spirit, here’s one more martial metaphor. Self-evidently, this is the phoney war stage of the process. Negotiations have barely started; the prime minister is on holiday. Most importantly, the fragile tangle of threads that defines what passes for Britain’s economic wellbeing – that mixture of affordable essentials, freely available credit and dependable house prices which ensures no one gets too uppity about stagnating wages – just about remains intact. Meanwhile, ministers – and Labour politicians – talk about the fundamentals of leaving the European Union as if we can push Brussels in any direction we fancy and freely choose no end of measures to ease our passage out.

Related: Farms hit by labour shortage as migrant workers shun ‘racist’ UK

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