BRC rejects Gove’s claims of no fresh food shortages come no-deal Brexit
Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has said that there will be “no shortages of fresh food” in the result of a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking on British TV talk show, The Andrew Marr Show, Michael Gove stated that food prices may rise in the light of a no-deal Brexit but “everyone will have the food their need.”
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) have rejected Gove’s claims, saying that it is “categorically untrue” and food will certainly be affected by a no deal.
A BRC spokesperson emphasised how clear the retail industry had been in its communications with the government, explaining that checks and delays at the border will impact the availability of fresh foods.
“The Government’s own assessments showed that the flow of goods through the channel crossings could be reduced by 40-60 percent from day one, as would the ‘availability and choice’ of some foods,” the BRC spokesperson said. “The BRC’s own assessment has shown that soft fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, tomatoes and lettuces, would likely see reduced availability as they are largely imported during the winter months.
“While retailers continue to work with their suppliers to maintain stocks of non-perishable goods and plan ahead for any disruption caused by a no deal Brexit, it is impossible to mitigate it fully as neither retailers nor consumers can stockpile fresh foods.”
BRC spokesperson added that October is probably the worst time for a no-deal Brexit, as retailers will be preparing for Christmas and already stretching their limited warehouse capacity.
And, with UK importing most of its fresh food from the EU, border delays will only be impacted further.