Behind the Headlines

"UK appoints food supplies minister for no deal"

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What’s the story?

The government has appointed a minister to oversee and ensure food supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Read more in the Daily Star


How reliable is the story?

Reliable. As the deadline for leaving the EU approaches, and with Theresa May no closer to a deal, the prospect of no-deal Brexit and accompanying chaos gets more likely.


What’s the background?

  • The UK has long been a net importer of food. Evidence
  • In the event of a no-deal Brexit, these supplies would be at risk due to delays at ports and on the Irish border. Evidence
  • There are fears that checks of even half-an-hour rapidly build up queues with delays long enough to lead to as many as one-in-ten British firms going bankrupt. Evidence
  • Theresa May has appointed David Rutley MP, former Asda and PepsiCo executive, as a minister for food supplies within the department for the environment, food and rural affairs (Defra). Evidence
  • The government has also proposed relaxing efforts to collect border tax in the event of no deal, but this would do nothing to stop the logjam of trucks returning to the EU. Evidence
  • Although some supplies can be set aside, there is concern about those with short shelf life such as milk and vegetables. Evidence
  • Indeed, earlier in the year ministers considered deploying helicopters to help bring in food and medical supplies. Evidence
  • Meanwhile, the EU announced it is preparing emergency rule changes to cope with a no-deal Brexit within 5 days of the event. Evidence

Image courtesy  Rusty Clark 


This Behind the Headlines Briefing was first published on the DoorstepEU app: https://www.richardcorbett.org.uk/app