BREXIT WARNING ON LOCAL FOOD SUPPLIES

3rd July 2019

NO DEAL RISKS ‘OUR VERY WAY OF LIFE’ SAYS MP

Marion Fellows, MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, this week wrote to the leader of North Lanarkshire Council, Cllr Jim Logue, to ensure North Lanarkshire Council is prepared for all Brexit eventualities following recommendations from the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health for local authorities to form “food resilience teams”.

The report, sent to local authorities in November 2018, recommends that each local authority form a food resilience team to make risk assessments of how each different Brexit outcome might affect food supplies in the North Lanarkshire area.

Food resilience teams in each local authority would be responsible for:

  • Mapping existing food systems;
  • Conducting rapid assessments of where risks and potential disruptions lie;
  • Clarifying the limits to stockpiling;
  • Bringing together relevant professionals and expertise;
  • Being prepared to convey this information to the Government and public.

Mrs Fellows wrote to Cllr Logue after Brexit questions, asking Brexit Ministers “what reassurances can the Secretary of State give that food supplies will not be impacted in the event of a no deal?”

Ministers responded stating they had attended a number of meetings, but did not outline any specific steps that have been taken.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“With Boris Johnson likely to be our next Prime Minister, the UK is hurtling towards a no deal Brexit which will not only be a disaster for our economy, but for our very way of life. Given the performance of the current UK Government in handling Brexit so far, I’m not convinced they are taking the appropriate steps to protect food supplies in a no deal Brexit.

“People like Boris Johnson and Tory MPs will be shielded from the effects of a no deal Brexit, but it will be ordinary people who will pay the price of the UK Government’s buccaneering policies.

“Not since World War II has such a situation arisen. SNP MPs are trying to remove the Tories from Government at the nearest opportunity and to stop Brexit which is contrary to Scotland’s will.

“It is my hope that in the future we will look back at the idea of food resilience teams as an unnecessary endeavour, but we must take the necessary measures to prepare for all eventualities.”

Letter to Cllr Jim Logue:

Dear Cllr Logue,

I am writing to bring to your attention a report sent to you by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health late last year regarding their recommendation that local authorities form food resilience teams to prepare for Brexit and to also enquire as to what action North Lanarkshire Council has taken.

The report recommends that each local authority form a food resilience team to make risk assessments of how each different Brexit outcome might affect food supplies in the North Lanarkshire area.

Food resilience teams in each local authority will be responsible for:

  • Mapping existing food systems in their regions;
  • Conducting rapid assessments of where risks and potential disruptions lie;
  • Clarifying the limits to stockpiling;
  • Bringing together relevant professionals and expertise;
  • Being prepared to convey this information to the Government and public.

Sadly, with the popularity of Boris Johnson in the Conservative party who is likely to be our next Prime Minister, Scotland and the rest of the UK are hurtling towards a no deal Brexit which will be a disaster for our economy and our very way of life. People like Boris Johnson and Tory MPs will be shielded from the effects of a no deal Brexit, but it will be ordinary people who pay the price of their buccaneering policies.

While our respective parties take very different view with respect to EU membership, I’m sure you will agree with me that contingency measures are sensible. I understand that local authorities will play a leading role in managing communities on the ground and relaying vital information back to the Scottish Government and UK Government.

It is my hope that in the future we will look back at the idea of food resilience teams as an unnecessary endeavour, but we must take the necessary measures to prepare for all eventualities.

Sincerely,