Government 'sleepwalking' into post-Brexit future of insecure food supply, report says

17 Juillet, 2017, 15:15 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Man carries food shopping bags in Britain

It cites recent research by the British Retail Consortium that the absence of a trade deal could push the price of imported food up by 22%.

"With the Brexit deadline in 20 months, this is a serious policy failure on an unprecedented scale".

The report highlights concerns that Brexit could have a negative impact on UK's food industry and there are no plans in place to deal with any significant changes to food supply.

Professor Lang also stressed that food is the biggest slice of EU-related regulations and laws, yet so far the government has only sketchily flagged a new Agriculture Act and Fisheries Act in the Queen's Speech.

This unique event will help you address the impact on your business of the UK's exit from the European Union, with presentations from Brexit thought-leaders, peer networking, debate and discussion. Anyone would think they want a drop into the World Trade Organisation abyss'.

He added: "At least the United Kingdom entered World War Two with emergency plans".

A lack of government vision for the future of food and agriculture meant even a soft Brexit could have huge implications for the price, quality and supply of food in the United Kingdom, it claimed.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May
AFP 2017 Matt Dunham'Tory Infighting Is Undermining Britain's Position at Brexit Negotiations

The report, published by the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, identifies 16 issues which it urges Prime Minister Theresa May to consider.

The report, which is based on more than 200 sources, continues: 'Prices, which are already rising and likely to rise more, will become more volatile, especially harming poor consumers'.

The warning comes as negotiations continue on Monday as Brexit Secretary David Davis travels for talks in Brussels.

The study, by leading food policy specialists Professor Erik Millstone of the University of Sussex, Professor Tim Lang of London's City University and Professor Terry Marsden of Cardiff University, warned the United Kingdom was totally unprepared for "the most complex ever change" to its food supply system.

"Not only have ministers yet to develop a strategy or make decisions, they have not even grasped the issues about which urgent decisions are needed".

"Since the Brexit referendum United Kingdom food and agricultural policy has been in chaos". They believe that the UK's population expect low food prices and guaranteed supply for anything they need. "Unless things change rapidly, and in line with our recommendations, the United Kingdom will not only have policy chaos, the food system itself will become increasingly chaotic", the report authors said. "When we leave we are determined to benefit from tariff-free trade for our goods that is as frictionless as possible".

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