Whether you voted to leave or to remain and whatever your standpoint on the whole palaver dubbed “Brexit” might be – there is no denying a “No-Deal Brexit” is a real threat to food supply in the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom’s divorce with the European Union has already caused a fracturing divide in the nation. Now some Brexiteers are pushing for Parliament to stop negotiations and initiate a “No-Deal Brexit”.
Granted, there has been some chaos surrounding the deal’s negotiations. And while the deadline has been pushed three times (with its most recent delay setting it at Halloween) that surely is no reason to nix all negotiations.
The possibility of a No-Deal Brexit
The possibility of a No-Deal Brexit is supported by Leavers, since many of them want a clean break and fresh start. But what they aren’t taking into account is that with leaving without a deal, the United Kingdom waves all privileges that come with being part of the EU. Those privileges include free trade and movement of goods since the EU is recognised as a single market.
This essential trading advantage guarantees quick transport of goods like food and the UK is extremely dependent on it. More than 30 percent of food is imported from the EU. And the UK itself produces less than 60 percent of the food it consumes. Without these border control free imports, there would be a significant shortage of food supply, especially in the transition period.
Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab suggested stockpiling food to be the solution of this particular problem. But since the biggest shortage would be in the fresh fruits and vegetables department, stockpiling is not fully effective. Moreover, he continued to say that stockpiling would be the responsibility of suppliers, not the government. Suppliers replied that they simply don’t have sufficient facilities.
Rising food prices
On another note, food import costs would rise. The pound sterling is set to significantly decrease in value after Brexit.
In addition to that, the UK would also lose the privilege of not having to pay tariffs on products imported from the EU. Tariffs are set taxes that a country has to pay when importing from another country with which it doesn’t have a trade deal. If this advantage is not secured in a deal with the EU, food prices are expected to rise by a significant percentage.
During the next deal negotiations, the goals regarding trade should consider these issues. A deal should include continued tariff-free trade and be concerned about avoiding delays and additional costs in general.
If a No-Deal Brexit happens, there will be a critical shortage of especially fruits and vegetables. Food prices will rise and the UK will lose important trade privileges.
Tell us what you think about all of this in the comments! Do you think a No-Deal Brexit is a good idea?