The United Kingdom is preparing for food shortages in case it leaves the European Union without negotiating an exit deal.
The U.K. imported 30 percent of its food from the European Union in 2016, according to government statistics. Its next largest supplier of food is Africa, at 5 percent.
The U.K. produced 49 percent of its food domestically in 2016. (RELATED: Mattis Backs Up Trump’s Fiery Tirade On Iran)
“The idea that we only get food imports into this country from one continent is not appropriate,” said Brexit secretary Dominic Raab to members of Parliament on Tuesday. “But we will look at the issue in the round and make sure there is adequate food supply … I’m not going to give more detail until I can set it out in a responsible and full fashion.”
Raab said the government itself will not stockpile food, but it will cooperate with the U.K.’s food industry to ensure Brexit does not result in food shortages, reported The Guardian. The Brexit secretary admitted the government was looking into possible shortages after he refused to discuss the topic during a television interview Sunday, reported the Independent.
The news comes while heat spell and lack of rain is causing farmers to worry about autumn crops, reported Reuters.
Raab said there will be “uncertainty” in the short run should the U.K. and EU be unable to come to terms on Brexit.
“Long term, we would still be able to thrive,” he said, reported the Independent.
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