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Retailers warn of food shortages from No-Deal Brexit

More concerns are being expressed about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.  
Top UK retailers are having urgent meetings with the government expressing their concern that a no-deal Brexit will lead to food shortages.   
Commenting on the newly released Yellowhammer documents, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:
“The Yellowhammer document confirms what retailers have been saying for the last three years – fresh food availability will decrease, consumer choice will decrease, and prices will rise. This isn’t good for the British public and this isn’t good for British retailers."

The retailers say a no-deal Brexit in November represents the worst possible timing for the retail industry and for consumers. 

They warn that warehousing availability will be limited as retailers prepare for Black Friday and Christmas, many fresh fruit and vegetables will be out of season in the UK, and imports will be hampered by disruption through the Channel Straits that could reduce flow by up to 60% for up to three months.

They also warn that while retailers are doing all they can to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, it is impossible to completely mitigate the negative impact it would have - something the Government itself has acknowledged. 

"The fact remains that a damaging,no-deal Brexit is in no one’s interests and it is vital that a solution is found, and fast, that ensures frictionless tariff-free trade with the EU after our departure.”
The hardest hit will be the poorest as they are the least able to buffer the impact on family finances.  The uncertainty is already affecting the poorest.  The Trussell Trust is expecting a surge in families needing help from food banks, yet food banks will also be adversely affected as a record 1.6m food bank parcels given to people in the past year.

Brexit is and remains a distraction from the real issues affecting the poorest.  Poverty wages and job insecurity, poor housing and a breakdown of essential services have pushed more families into poverty.  This is the direct result of UK government policies.

The slogan of the Leave campaign was "take back control", yet it is the government who introduced Universal Credit and slashed benefits for hard-working families and the disabled.   There was no lack of control when it came to cutting budgets to local authorities, pushing social care and children's services into crisis.

Brexit clouds all judgement, when concerns about leaving without a deal are expressed.   What the Retailers are saying isn't a figment of their imagination.  It is and will be the reality of No-Deal.



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