To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the resilience of the food supply chain after the transition period.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of (a) the end of the transition period, (b) the covid-19 outbreak and (c) winter-related absenteeism on the food supply in the UK in winter 2020-21.
The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. We work closely with food retailers and the food industry to ensure that it is prepared for a range of scenarios. Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU in 2019, alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of Transition Period planning on food supply.
We are currently working alongside industry and across Government, including with the Devolved Administrations, to plan for the end of this year. This includes responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, associated increases in absenteeism and preparations for the end of the Transition Period. The Government remains committed to negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, but if the transition period ends without a trade agreement in place, there will not be a shortage of food in the UK. Consumers will continue to have access to a wide range of food products.