The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165570 Message #3973811
Posted By: Backwoodsman
28-Jan-19 - 08:25 AM
Thread Name: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Subject: RE: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
On the BBC News app at the moment....
"A no-deal Brexit threatens the UK's food security and will lead to higher prices and empty shelves, retailers are preparing to warn MPs.
M&S, Sainsbury's and Waitrose are among those warning stockpiling fresh food is impossible and that the UK is very reliant on the EU for produce.
The warning comes in a letter from the British Retail Consortium and is signed by the main food retailers.
It comes ahead of crucial votes in Parliament tomorrow.
The letter, seen by the BBC, uses the government's own estimate that freight through Calais may fall 87% from current levels, threatening the availability and shelf life of many products.
The letter expresses worry over tariffs, with only 10% of the UK's food imports currently subject to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
If the UK were to revert to WTO rules, the retailers warn that would "greatly increase import costs that would in turn put upward pressure on food prices".
The other signatories to the letter include the chief executives of KFC, Co-Op, and Lidl.
The letter spells out the UK's food relationship with Europe, with nearly one third of the food in the UK coming from the EU.
"In March, the situation becomes more acute as UK produce is out of season," the letter says.
At that time of year, 90% of lettuces, 80% of tomatoes and 70% of soft fruit sold in the UK is grown in the EU, the letter says.
No more room to stockpile
"As this produce is fresh and perishable, it needs to be moved quickly from farms to our stores," the retailers say.
Retailers have been reluctant to intervene in the Brexit debate but are doing so now as the UK's departure date from the EU approaches.
Their letter says that stockpiling fresh food is impossible and that the complex, 'just in time' supply chain through which food is imported into the UK will be "significantly disrupted" in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
It adds it is difficult to stockpile any more produce as "all frozen and chilled storage is already been used".
"While we have been working closely with our suppliers on contingency plans, it is not possible to mitigate all the risks to our supply chains and we fear significant disruption as a result if there is no Brexit deal," the retailers say in the letter to MPs."
I don't remember seeing that on the side of that bloody bus!