Food Supply: Social Services

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Public Health and Primary Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the food supply to the public and private care sectors of a free trade agreement not being reached with the EU before the end of the transition period.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU 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 the year.

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.

My department is working closely with officials in DHSC, as the lead department for public sector food provision for the care sector, providing advice and supporting their engagement with their food suppliers. NHS England and DHSC are engaging with the supply chain for the care sector to ensure their suppliers are fully prepared for the end of the year.

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