Flexibility and imagination may be in short supply during ongoing Brexit talks but the UK also faces the prospect of ‘gaps on food shelves’ if a deal is not agreed, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) warns.
The UK government has said it wants to reach a deal that will see “no hard border in the movement of goods” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland following the country’s exit from the European Union.
With concern mounting that post-Brexit free trade agreements could hit food safety standards in the UK, a government spokesperson insists food safety issues are of the “highest priority” to future trade talks.
The UK should use Brexit to “lower and ultimately eliminate” trade tariffs on food imports and review all scientific evidence on food safety, including genetically modified (GM) foods and chlorine-washed chicken.
Tariff and exchange rate uncertainties after Brexit could expose the UK to “considerable and unpredictable” changes in food prices as well as previously banned practices such as chlorine-washed chicken, a think tank concludes.
Improving the UK's efforts in trade, skills development and innovation are key recommendations in a Food and Drink Federation (FDF) - commissioned report that outlines ways to boost the country’s 2.2% share of the global food and drink export market.