by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Brexit

Apr 17 2024

The harm caused by Brexit: a wee example

The headline reads: “Brexit has cost the UK up to £100m in lost salmon sales, according to industry body Scotland Salmon.”

Increased red tape and costs triggered by the UK’s departure from the EU in January 2020 has seen exports of Salmon to the trade bloc drop 16% to 44,000 tonnes in 2023.

While export values to the EU were only down 3% to £356m, this was only because strong global demand had driven up prices. Had the sector maintained volumes at 2019 levels, sales would have been above £430m.

Ultimately the sector experienced a net loss of £75m, or up to £100m had it continued to grow at the rate previously expected.

Comment: I’ve written about Brexit repeatedly (for example here) always with a dim view of its value, especially to food and agriculture.  In today’s world we need unity and community and taking care of each other, not splitting apart.  Nobody much wants to talk about what a disaster it has been for the UK.  I thought this was a small and specific example, but I’m guessing it’s highly representative.  Brexit was a tragedy for the UK.  Really, they ought to admit error, apologize, and repeal it.

Additon: Oh, the irony (thanks to Hugh Joseph)


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Jun 3 2021

Brexit one year on: a collection of items

I’ve been collecting items on the effects of Brexit on food issues in the UK.  These are even more complicated because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just Food tracks this issue on an ongoing basis.

Here are some of the items collected by Just Food, along with some others I’ve picked up.

Dec 17 2019

What does Brexit mean for food and agriculture?

The election in the UK last week means that plans for Brexit will go forward (although the how and when are a wait-and-see).

I have been curious to know how Brexit would affect the UK’s food and agriculture systems.  A quick search turned up a Parliament briefing paper: “Brexit: Trade issues for food and agriculture.”

Its summary mentions these issues:

  • Only 61% of the food eaten in the UK is produced in the UK.  Of imported food, 70% comes from the EU.
  • The UK exported £22 billion in food, feed, and drink in 2018; two-thirds of that is exported to the EU.
  • Trade between EU members is tariff-free.  A UK-EU free trade agreement will have to be negotiated.
  • To continue trading with the EU, the UK would have to demonstrate compliance with EU food and safety standards.
  • UK exports might have to undergo additional animal and plant health checks at UK-EU borders.

Other sources mention additional issues:

There may be an upside, but I had to dig to find anyone hopeful of a silver lining.

The UK has an unprecedented opportunity, in the context of Brexit, to equip its food system to withstand these challenges, but the transition will need to be managed carefully. Any reconfiguration will first need to understand and take account of what citizens and consumers value most about the food system. Second, a UK-wide and cross-government approach will be necessary to foster a holistic, profitable, healthy and sustainable food system for all.