Gordon Brown warns of no-deal Brexit 'catastrophe' for food industry

02 September 2019 by
Gordon Brown warns of no-deal Brexit 'catastrophe' for food industry

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has warned of a no-deal Brexit catastrophe for the food industry, spurred on by rising prices, a weak pound and disrupted supplies.

The nation's last Labour leader also raised concerns over the knock on effect on consumers, and urged Boris Johnson not to crash out of the European Union without an accord between London and Brussels.

It comes as Johnson continues to careen towards the precipice of a chaotic Brexit scenario by limiting the number of days MPs can vote before the 31 October deadline, and threatening his own party members who oppose leaving the EU without a deal.

Ahead of a visit to Merseyside cooperative bakery Homebaked, 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."

His intervention comes as union GMB issues the prime minister with a letter urging him to rule out a no-deal scenario, which according to the government's own analysis is likely to have a negative effect on hospitality firms in a range of areas including supply chains, staffing, energy prices and, in the case of the food service sector, social care.

GMB general secretary Tim Roach warned that, if the UK could not broker a deal with the EU, it would lead to: "job losses in food production and reduced nutrition in school and hospital meals".

He added: "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."

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