The Government has been told it is time to ’get real’ with accusations it has no plan for post-Brexit food policy.
It is time for the Government to ‘get real’ on post-Brexit food policy amid warnings of abrupt food price increases and declines in standards, according to research from the University of Sussex.
The damning report, ’A Food Brexit: time to get real’, showcased the chaos behind the future of food policy and accused the Government of having no plan.
Co-author of the report Professor Tim Lang said: “At least the UK entered World War Two with emergency plans. No-one has warned the public that a ’Food Brexit’ carries real risks of disruption to sources, prices and quality.
“There is solid evidence about vulnerabilities ranging from diet-related ill-health to ecosystems stress. Food is the biggest slice of EU-related regulations and laws, yet so far the Government has only sketchily flagged a new Agriculture Act and Fisheries Act in the Queen’s Speech.”
It said there was an urgent need for a ‘clear, integrated plan for UK food’ and warned prices, which were already rising and would continue to rise would become more volatile and tariffs could add 22 per cent onto imported food costs.
But Brexit should not be an opportunity to promote ‘cheap food for the masses at any costs’ citing a Cabinet office specialist who once told one of the authors ‘we do not need farmers, we can buy on open markets’.
It branded comments from Secretary of State Michael Gove of buying more from Africa as a ’disgrace’.
“We are wary of those who see Food Brexit as a chance to seek even cheaper sources of food – if not from the former Empire, then from where land, labour and capital are cheap and unregulated,” it said.
“Africa should be feeding Africa not the British, who fail to take their own food security seriously.”