Fri, 18 June 2021

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Environment
Air quality: It’s time for joined-up thinking so that we can all breathe easier Partner content
Environment
Clean Air Day 2021: Why now is the time to get serious about tackling air pollution Partner content
Environment
Brexit
UK soft-drinks maker accelerates emissions cut as it targets Net Zero Partner content
Environment
Press releases

Government 'sleepwalking' into post-Brexit food security problems - reports

Government 'sleepwalking' into post-Brexit food security problems - reports

John Ashmore

2 min read

The Government is "sleepwalking" into a "huge set of issues" on the security of the UK's food supply after Brexit, academics have warned.


A new report on food security from three leading experts said food security could be "seriously undermined" by leaving the EU and accused ministers of "an astonishing act of political irresponsibility".

One of the authors, Prof Tim Lang of City University, described the situation as a "serious policy failure on an unprecedented scale".

Among the potential problems the reports warns of is potential tariffs and extra costs from customs delay once the UK departs the customs union. 

The problem could be especially pronounced because the UK imports some 80% of its fresh vegetables and 40% of its fruit.

The end of EU subsidies to farmers could leave the food supply "chronically prone to volatilities of supplies and prices," the authors add.

The academics also claim consumers could be at risk from a lighter-touch regulatory regime after Brexit.

“There are also serious risks that standards of food safety will decline if the UK ceases to adopt EU safety rules, and instead accepts free-trade agreements with countries with significantly weaker standards," the report reads. 

Prof Erik Millstone of Sussex University said it appeared little work had been done to address these potential difficulties.

“We are surprised at the failure of the government to address a huge set of issues related to food and agriculture," he said. 

"They give the impression of sort of sleepwalking into this.”

Categories

Environment Brexit
Podcast
Engineering a Better World

Can technology deliver a better society? In a new podcast series from the heart of Westminster, The House magazine and the IET discuss with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

New episode - Listen now