"Cupboards would run bare" in the event of no deal Brexit
NFU President Minette Batters has urged Government to put the nation’s food security at the top of the political agenda as latest figures on UK’s self-sufficiency in food have stagnated.
Defra figures for 2017 show that Britain produced only 60% of its own food and this rate is in long-term decline.
Batters said that the food self-sufficiency statistics have always been an important measure of the nation’s ability to feed itself, but with Brexit just eight months away she says "it shines a new light on the supply of British food".
Mrs Batters continued: “We strongly believe that every British citizen should be entitled to a safe, traceable and high quality supply of British food that is produced to some of the highest animal welfare and environmental standards in the world.
"Home-grown food production must have the unwavering support of Government if we are to achieve this post-Brexit.
Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Colin Smyth warned that the comments "blow a whole in the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab’s claims that the UK would have sufficient food supplies in the event of a no deal."
"According to the Government’s own figures, we’ve seen a decline in food security in the U.K. and It’s clear that cupboards would run bare of many things in the event of a no deal."
"Farming and the wider food industry is one sector that would suffer most from a hard brexit- whether that’s through the loss of tariff free trade or the failure of the U.K. and Scottish Government’s to put in place what post CAP support will look like." Smyth said.
"This will be acutely felt in households across Scotland who will be hit by food shortages. It hammers home the extent to which both the U.K. and Scottish Government’s don’t take seriously the need to maximise our domestic food production."
"But it also exposes the utter chaos at the heart of the U.K. Government’s negotiating position, that they have brought us to the edge of the cliff with no idea whatsoever how they will pull us back with a deal and prevent these inevitable shortages if they don’t“.