The end of the Brexit transition period on 31st December 2020 is approaching very quickly, with new rules for trade and travel between the UK and EU coming in to force on 1st January 2021. As no deal has yet been agreed, it is becoming increasingly likely that the UK will not agree a trade deal with the EU. This is very likely to cause delays in transportation of goods through borders between the EU and the UK, and therefore also likely to cause shortages of food and other goods in the UK for some time during 2021. After 31st December 2020, movement of food and drink into the UK will be subject to additional tariffs, and will require more red tape such as customs declarations, there will be significant increases in the prices of food and goods in the UK indefinitely.
What Foods and Drinks Will Be Affected by Brexit
UK Government Statistics report that around 45% of all of the food consumed in the UK is imported, and around 26% comes from the EU. If the Brexit transition period ends without a trade deal with the EU, the supply of food coming into the UK from the EU will be impacted. However it is not only food produced in the EU that will be affected, as a large amount of food imported to the UK from other countries in the world travels via EU ports such as Rotterdam. The supply of the following foods is most likely to be impacted by Brexit:
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
A very large amount of fresh fruit and vegetables are imported in to the UK from the EU, particularly during winter after the UK growing season has ended for most fruits and vegetables. Carrots and salad from Spain, potatoes from Belgium and the Netherlands, tomatoes also from the Netherlands will all be affected, as well as a large number of other fruits and vegetables that are imported to the UK from the EU.
Ireland is a great supplier of dairy products to the UK, particularly milk and cheddar cheese. We also import many other cheeses from mainland Europe, so don’t expect to be able to get your hands on some of the traditional favourites such as Brie, Mozzarella and Parmesan too easily. Any disruptions in the supply of milk will also have a knock on impact on other dairy products consumed in the UK, such as yoghurt.
Meat and Fish
Beef from Ireland, pork from Denmark and fish and seafood from Scandinavian countries will suffer supply problems in the UK after the Brexit transition period, meaning that prices for these items will increase and there may be shortages.
The majority of the flour used for pasta is made from Durum wheat grown in Italy where the climate is suitable for growing this crop. After the end of the Brexit transition period, there are likely to be interruptions in the supply of pasta in the UK, as well as price increases. As for other carbs, rice imported to the UK comes mainly from India and several other Asian countries, so will be less affected, however there may be some disruptions to transport.
You can’t even drown your sorrows after the Brexit transition period as there is likely to be disruption to the supply of European wines. A large amount of the wine sold in the UK is imported from various European countries, including France and Italy. The UK does also import a significant amount of wine from countries outside Europe too, although it may take some time for the supply chain to develop to fill the gap left by European wines.
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