Food safety could diminish if the UK undergoes a hard Brexit - here’s how
We all know how important a trade deal is to the UK before we leave the European Union, and in our recent report, ‘Feeding Britain: Food Security after Brexit’, we’ve drawn attention to how incredibly important it is for ministers to consider food in their Brexit negotiations:
’The UK does not feed itself and the UK’s domestic production of food has been steadily declining since the early 1980s; self-sufficiency is now, by value, only about 60%. If we consider the flow of unprocessed foods, the UK supplied less than half (49%) of its unprocessed food in 2016.’ Source: DEFRA (2017).
Not only is the UK food system fragile and vulnerable to disruption, it is also heavily reliant on those of its EU neighbours, therefore keeping open and unhindered borders with the EU for food trade may be the UK’s best chance for achieving sustainable food security after Brexit. A no deal withdrawal could adversely affect public health, consumer protection, animal welfare and environmental sustainability, as other countries begin to produce food for the UK to replace imports from the EU. Here are 7 threats to food safety that we could face after a no-deal Food Brexit: