“TIME TO GET REAL” – BREXIT AND FOOD

There was much absent in the pre-Brexit debate which has emerged since. One such issue is food. We’ve been more aware of tariff and non-tariff issues, costs and jobs, given the extent to  which food is traded within the island and from Ireland to the rest of the UK.

But the the authors of  this study accuse the UK government of “sleepwalking” into potential food insecurity in the wake of Brexit.  Written by food policy experts from three UK universities it points to a host of intertwined issues in relation to what we eat, where it comes from, security, standards, quality, the impact of Brexit, and the failure of Government to develop robust food policy when the UK leaves.

While it does not deal with the issue from an Irish border perspective it does focus heavily on the impact on food standards in the event of the UK doing a post Brexit food deal with the US.  Issues of concern include genetically modified food, growth promotion and poultry disinfectant. All are allowed in the US but not in the EU.  Such a deal would have a serious impact on the border and are way beyond just tariff issues. Such an eventuality could ultimately produce the hardest of borders.

Overall though this 88 page paper is the sharpest of contrasts to the non-debate prior to the Brexit vote.