Former PM Gordon Brown has backed calls byfood workers union GMB, anti-fascist campaign group Hope Not Hate and food charity Sustain forBoris Johnson to come clean about the disastrous risks a no-deal Brexit poses to UK food supply.
The letter warns Johnson that to “crash out of the EU without a deal poses a grave risk to the entire country’s food supply”.
It demands answers to nine key questions about government preparations to cope with food shortages and price rises and the subsequent effects on families, the vulnerable, public services, the voluntary sector and workers in the food industry.
Brown said:“A no-deal Brexit threatens the UK’s food supply chain. Imports of almost a third of our food could be subject to disruption.
“Uncertainty, restricted supplies and a weakened pound could raise prices. This would be a catastrophe for the food industry but also for family budgets, hospitals and those driven to food banks due to the decimation of our social security system over the last decade.
“In the North West, 83,000 three-day emergency food parcels were given to children by the Trussell Trust in 2018/19. We cannot put the future of the most vulnerable people in our country at risk as Prime Minister Johnson and his advisers stand to lose nothing.
“Let’s stop no deal, stand up for our future and start fixing the problems really impacting people’s lives in this country.”
GMB general secretary Tim Roache added:“No deal is no joke –it makes no sense for working people.
“The risks are writ large when it comes to the food we eat. With all the talk about coups and leave promises written on the side of buses, the real detail often gets missed. It's time for Boris Johnson to come clean.
“With nodeal, we’re likely to see a huge impact on everything from increased cost of the family shop and less choice on supermarket shelves, through to job losses in food production and reduced nutrition in school and hospital meals.
'The government are walking us to a cliff edge and seem more interested in ideological Tory party politicking than making sure we have a stable food supply.”