The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said the stockpiling of food is not a practical response to a no-deal on Brexit and the industry “has not been approached by the government to begin planning for this”.
According to the association, retailers do not have the facilities to house stockpiled goods and in the case of fresh produce, it is not possible to do so.
The BRC warned about the potential for damaging consequences for UK consumers and EU producers if a Brexit agreement is not reached between the EU and UK by 29 March 2019.
The BRC sent a letter to prime minister Theresa May and the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier highlighting the dependent state of the UK’s food supply chain upon trade with tens of thousands of EU-based producers. The trade body said 50% of Britain’s food is imported and 60% of those imports come from the EU-27.
A statement made by the BRC said: “Our food supply chains are extremely fragile and this is yet further demonstration of the need for an agreement on the backstop to ensure frictionless trade is maintained after the 29 March 2019.”