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EU farmers warn UK of food shortages over a no deal Brexit

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Farmers in the EU have warned that if the UK leaves with a no deal, they are concerned that the UK’s food chains will be affected.

Copa Cogeca who are an umbrella organisation for farmers in the EU have warned that a trade volume of €58bn is at stake, as a no deal will affect the supply chains.

Copa are wanting transitional rules in place in order that trade between the UK and EU will not collapse in 2021, and would like to see a quota-free and duty free agricultural and food trade.

The association said, “We are pushing for the review of alternative, temporary agreements that could be implemented from early 2021 if it should not be possible to conclude a free trade agreement this year.”

The EU accounts for 45% of exports with 53% of imports, and is the UKs largest trading partner.

Copa said, it is of “utmost importance to keep a close relationship between the European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) and the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).”

They are urging the British government to implement a temporary agreement should there be no agreement this year, and a temporary extension will preserve the quota-free trade.

Director of food and sustainability, Andrew Opie said, “If we get a disorderly Brexit, we potentially face a bigger challenge than the food supply chain faced with Covid.”

The UK’s oldest thinktank, the Bow Group have also warned that the UK’s food supply chains could be on the brink of collapse, due to the economic fallout.

The group have said that Britain could run out of food in a new report and have called on the government to “take urgent action to prepare for such a crisis and restructure.”

Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group said, “If UK imports fall by just 13% and domestic production also falls by 13%, very realistic figures in the context of coronavirus or any other global crisis, British people will shockingly be at real risk of running out of food.

“It is very likely that even with a smaller reduction of five to 10% of production/imports the public would have to cut down on many current staples and the cost of many types of food would skyrocket.”




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