As the date of Britain’s withdrawal from European Union, grows nearer different issues loom over UK’s already limping economy, waiting to be addressed. Food crisis is one of such serious issues which needs to be addressed immediately. On Wednesday, UK’s Food and Drink Federation warned the government that with Britain crashing out the Union without a deal, the nation is likely to face fresh food shortage as most of it would be rotting in the trucks waiting for clearance.
According to Mr Rycroft, Brexit on 31 October would deeply impact the food supply because warehouses are already full ahead of Christmas, with almost no scope for stockpiling. He added that also the domestic crops end around October, increasing the demand for more import of fruit and vegetables. “It is pretty much the worst time [for no-deal exit],” he said.
Lord Haskins, former chair of Northern Foods, also backed FDF’s wake-up call for looming food crisis. Haskins said that Britain is likely to face food shortage if and when it exits EU due to lack of preparedness for the post-Brexit scenario. Such a situation, according to him, would lead to potential panic-buying, hence worsening the situation.
Britain’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who has been an ardent supporter of Leave EU campaign, has still not budged from his stand of divorcing EU on October 31’ (deal or no-deal). Though the chances of no-deal Brexit seem more likely. Johnson has been criticised by lawmakers and industry leaders for his political agenda packed with passionate pro-Brexit speeches lacked the much need grounded work for Brexit.
On Monday, Tim Lang, food policy professor at City University, criticising the government’s way of handling things, wrote in The Lancet, that the British citizens have so far been kept “largely in the dark” about the government’s perspective on the gravity of the situation and how it would unfold.
The FDF chief operating officer Tim Rycroft told Reuters, “There will be some shortages and price rises”. On Wednesday, on behalf of the food industry, Rycroft urged the government to waive off certain aspects of competition law, allowing the companies to work together, mitigating the impact of food crisis.