Britain would run out of food on this date next year if it cannot continue to easily import from the EU and elsewhere after Brexit, the National Farmers’ Union has warned.
Minette Batters, the NFU president, urged the government to put food security at the top of the political agenda after the prospect of a no-deal Brexit was talked up this week.
“The UK farming sector has the potential to be one of the most impacted sectors from a bad Brexit – a frictionless free trade deal with the EU and access to a reliable and competent workforce for farm businesses is critical to the future of the sector,” she said.
Batters’ warning comes a fortnight after the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, said Britain would have “adequate food supplies” after Brexit.
While Downing Street has insisted it is confident an agreement can be made in time, the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, warned over the weekend that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit was now at “60-40”, fuelling fears at the NFU and among food importers.
Food security in Britain is in long-term decline, with the country producing 60% of what it needs to feed itself, compared with 74% 30 years ago, according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). [Continue reading…]