FDF, the industry trade body, has been made aware that the House of Commons Select Exiting the European Union Committee is publishing a report into the consequences of “no deal” for UK business.

FDF’s chief operating officer, Tim Rycroft gave evidence to the committee on the disastrous consequences of a no-deal exit for food and drink manufacturing said: “FDF welcomes the findings in the Committee’s report. A no-deal exit from the EU would be disastrous for the UK’s food and drink industry, as we said in our evidence to the Committee.

“Within weeks it is likely that shoppers would notice significant and adverse changes to the products available and random, selective shortages. Limited shelf life products would face the most immediate risk.

Stark outlook up to 31st October

“The run up to 31st October 2019 is particularly stark. Food and drink manufacturers will not be able to secure additional frozen and chilled warehousing space or logistics capacity for stockpiling, as the required space is already booked for the peak Christmas production period. Manufacturers will therefore have no spare production capacity or ability to store ingredients and finished products. UK food imports will climb from autumn onwards as fresh food stocks decline, so any ‘no deal’ disruption will have a major impact on availability.”

“Our industry employs 450,000 people and has a turnover of £104bn. Analysis released earlier this week by the UK Trade Policy Observatory found that no-deal would destroy £18.5bn of UK food and drink manufacturing, with grave consequences for UK consumers.”