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Politics

Yellowhammer food price rises are “stark” for the poor

The published document also warned of protests, businesses ceasing trading and lorries waiting two days to cross the channel in the wake of a no-deal Brexit

The government’s Yellowhammer document reveals that those on low income will bear the brunt of the problems from a no-deal Brexit.

Ministers expect food prices to soar if the UK crashes out of the European Union without a trade deal as we are on course to do on October 31.

Fresh food supply is expected to be impacted with key ingredients, chemicals and packaging also predicted to be at a shortage. The combination of the two will push up prices and it will be most keenly felt by the poor – who the government admits “will be disproportionately affected by any prices in food and fuel”.

Human Rights Watch’s Western Europe researcher Kartik Raj, who has extensively researched the rise of food poverty in England and campaigned for a right to food in the UK, said in reaction to the base scenario report: “The government can no longer deny that its actions will affect the poorest and most vulnerable citizens and residents of the UK hardest. Their day to day standard of living will be hit by no-deal Brexit

“The no-deal Brexit Yellowhammer picture is stark generally. It is particularly stark for the most economically vulnerable.

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“No responsible government that cares about rights should take a decision to embark actively on such a course of action.”

The six-page Yellowhammer document was published late last night after a successful campaign from MPs to force the government to release it.

The report is dated August 2 – 10 days after Boris Johnson’s term as Prime Minister began – and also warns of civil unrest and significant disruption lasting over three months for HGVs crossing the English Channel, with some facing a wait of up to two and a half days in Kent.

There were also warnings that the supply of medicines could be disrupted, as well as the risk that some businesses could cease trading. Some adult social care providers could also fail, it said.

Johnson has this morning insisted that contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit have “massively accelerated” since he came into Number 10.

Image: Darren Staples/Getty Images

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