Latest post of the previous page:This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? Change diet to cope with food delays after no-deal Brexit, Britons told
Officials are planning to tell Britons to change what they eat in the event of a chaotic Brexit because Whitehall predicts that some sources of fresh food from European Union countries would be cut off.
The government has begun detailed planning on food supplies if Britain leaves without a deal and has identified a number of sites for massive hangars to stockpile food, including one near Carlisle and others in Scotland and on the south coast.
According to plans revealed to The Times, officials do not believe there will be a shortage of food in general. However, there is an issue with some perishable goods that come from the EU. Fruit from Spain or vegetables from the Netherlands could be held up by delays at the border if the EU limits trade or there need to be stringent checks.
Internal planners are actively discussing whether there might be a moment where Britons have to “vary their diet” to cope with any shortages.
Ian Wright, director-general of the Food and Drink Federation, said: “This illustrates the really grisly nature of a no-deal outcome. Quite simply, the British people would not forgive anyone responsible for it coming to pass.”
Some 60 per cent of food is produced in the UK and 40 per cent is imported, according to the federation, although this changes with seasons and in March Britain imports up to 70 per cent.
There is also nervousness over remote communities, with some uncertainty about who is responsible for getting them food — a task that could fall to local authorities.
The government has removed the claim that a no-deal Brexit is “unlikely” from dozens of contingency plans.
Earlier this year it released a series of technical notices to help different sectors plan for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Many called no-deal “unlikely” but the word has been removed. Government departments were ordered to take it out after the cabinet agreed on Tuesday to intensify preparations for a no-deal Brexit.
It is not the only change made to the papers. The notice on travelling to the EU with a British passport in a no-deal scenario removed references to negotiations going “well” and to Brussels “working hard to seek a positive deal” in favour of claims that a negotiated deal remained the “top priority”.
Theresa May’s spokesman said that the change was “a straightforward reflection of the decision that was taken by cabinet to move to a position where we’re implementing our no-deal plans in full”. He said it was still the government’s position that “the most likely outcome” was leaving with a deal.
Yesterday a cross-party group of MPs began another attempt to rule out a no-deal Brexit. The Labour MPs Yvette Cooper, Hilary Benn, Rachel Reeves and Harriet Harman and the Conservatives Nicky Morgan, Sir Oliver Letwin and Nick Boles tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill, due to be debated next month, which aims to prevent the government implementing provisions for a no-deal scenario without the explicit consent of parliament.
Yesterday Mrs May urged MPs to back her deal but said that she wanted further assurances on the Northern Irish backstop and when it would end.