Department for Exiting the European Union written question – answered at on 29 October 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Duchy of Lancaster)

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to the Answer of 4 October 2019 to Question 290576 on Low incomes: Food, how many exit scenarios the Government has planned for; what the cost of those plans are; and what form those plans take.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Chair, High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Select Committee (Commons) , Chair, High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Select Committee (Commons) , The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The Prime Minister has negotiated a new deal which would ensure that the UK leaves the EU in an orderly and friendly way.

However, the Government is also well prepared for a no deal scenario. The Treasury has made over £8.3 billion available to prepare for Brexit, including £2.1 billion in August this year to increase preparations for leaving without a deal.

The food industry is experienced in dealing with scenarios that can affect food supply, from adverse weather damaging crops in other countries to transport issues abroad. The Government has been meeting weekly with industry and retailers to make sure we are prepared for all exit scenarios.

The Government remains committed to providing support to those who need it most, and the national benefit system will continue to provide a strong safety net, delivering over £200 billion in support this year. In particular, the Government continues to spend over £95 billion a year on welfare benefits. This includes a well-established system of hardship payments, benefit advances and budgeting loans as an additional safeguard for those who need them.

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