Ministers suppressing expected food price changes after Brexit, Unite claims

Ministers suppressing expected food price changes after Brexit, Unite claims

The government has been accused of "suppressing" information on expected changes in food prices because of Brexit, fuelling fears of big increases.

Unite made a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, asking: “What assessment or estimate has been made of the increase in food prices in the run-up to the UK leaving the European Union and the first five years after the UK’s departure?”  

The department replied: “The information requested is being withheld as it falls under the exemption in section 35 of the FOIA, which relates to the formulation and development in government policy.”  

Unite has appealed against the decision, arguing there is a public interest test of publishing a report on the impact on food prices of leaving the EU.

Julia Long, Unite's national officer for food, drink and agriculture, said: “The government is pulling the wool over the eyes of the public yet again. What are they hiding?

“If the government knows that Brexit is going to affect food prices, then they need to tell the general public and not pretend that there isn’t a problem.

“The type of Brexit that the UK chooses will clearly have major implications on the nation's shopping basket and we need to know what those factors will be.

“Unite will do everything it can to ensure that this report is published and will hope that other individuals and organisations with similar concerns will also apply pressure for this information to see the light of day.”

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