UK to stockpile food in the event of no deal Brexit

Theresa May's Government intends to start stockpiling food for a no-deal Brexit scenario. Picture: Co-operative Group
Theresa May's Government intends to start stockpiling food for a no-deal Brexit scenario. Picture: Co-operative Group
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Ministers have told MPs that the government is making plans for food and medicines to be stockpiled in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the government would ensure there was an “adequate food supply”, while the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “responsible” to prepare for a no-deal outcome.

It came as the government used the last day of the parliamentary term before the summer recess to publish details of legislation that will implement a withdrawal agreement.

Mr Raab repeated the government’s intention to reach a deal for an EU summit in October, to allow for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to pass through parliament by early 2019.

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A 38-page White Paper sets out plans for a new financial authority to manage payment of the UK’s divorce bill to the EU over the years after Brexit.

Mr Raab repeated his threat not to pay the £39 billion bill if a UK-EU trade deal isn’t agreed, telling MPs: “If one party fails to honour its side of that overall bargain, there will be consequences for the deal as a whole – and that includes the financial settlement.”

He also told MPs on the Commons exiting the EU committee that “It would be wrong to describe it as the government doing stockpiling”, but added: “We will look at this issue in the round and make sure that there is adequate food supply.”

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Mr Hancock told the health committee: “Any responsible government needs to ­prepare for a range of outcomes, including the unlikely scenario of a no-deal [Brexit].

“Since I have arrived in the department, I’ve asked this work to accelerate … this includes the chain of medical supplies, vaccines, medical devices, clinical consumables, blood products. And I have asked the department to work up options for stockpiling by industry.”