Food will be affected by Brexit on all levels, regardless of the outcome of the Parliamentary vote on the Draft Withdrawal Agreement. As the date for leaving the EU approaches, preparations to ensure we have a safe, adequate and sustainable food supply need to start urgently. Local Authorities (LAs) have a vital part to play in these preparations, but Government has so far neglected to provide guidance.
LAs have an important role in the UK’s food system, with responsibilities including the enforcement of food safety and standards regulation, the control of imported food at ports and airports and the certification of foods for export. They also have unique knowledge of relevant local professionals, institutions, businesses and networks.
This briefing aims to help Local Authorities prepare for Food Brexit. It shows why LAs should prepare Food Brexit Plans, and outlines five courses of action they could consider.
The briefing recommends that Local Authorities:
- Create Food Resilience Teams
- Anticipate and reduce the impact of Food Brexit, particularly on SMEs
- Narrow the information gap and treat the public openly and fairly
- Prepare for public engagement
- Be a local food voice so that central government knows the local realities.