British Food Industry: No-deal Brexit Could Lead to Shortages
Britain could experience shortages of some fresh foods for weeks or even months if the country leaves the European Union without a trade deal.
A British food industry group made the warning Wednesday. It said, if Britain withdraws from the EU without a trade agreement, fresh food may be left to go bad on trucks at ports.
Tim Rycroft is the Chief Operating Officer of Britain's Food and Drink Federation. He said, "We're not going to starve, but there will be shortages of fresh food and some specialist ingredients. It's going to be a little bit unpredictable."
"Given that food very often is perishable...we expect that there will be some selective shortages of food in the weeks and months following no-deal Brexit," Rycroft said. "There will be some shortages and price rises."
Officials of large food companies warn that leaving the EU, known as Brexit, could cause shortages because they may be unable to fill warehouses before the Christmas holiday.
The British food industry employs 450,000 people. The industry says Brexit may be the country's greatest challenge since World War II.
A costly delay
Britain had planned to formally leave the EU on March 29 of this year. But the British Parliament failed to approve a deal negotiated with the 27 other member states. So Brexit has been delayed. There also is a possibility that Britain could withdraw from the EU without any agreement at all: a so-called no-deal Brexit.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned he will lead Britain out of the EU on October 31 without a deal unless a new one is negotiated.
After three years of Brexit discussion, it is still unclear on what terms Britain will leave the European Union. The possibilities include another delay or a deal reached at the last minute. It also includes the very real possibility that Britain will pull out of the EU without negotiating any new trade agreements. That could cause big problems for businesses that import products.
Every year, as the winter nears, Britain increases the amount of food it imports. That increased demand will start just as a no-deal Brexit will hold food at ports as officials try to deal with different import rules, Rycroft explained.
Fresh fruit and vegetables generally move from the French port at Calais to the British port at Dover. These products are only edible for a few days. A slowdown at either side could cause the food to go bad.
Rycroft said they estimated the cost of preparing for a no-deal Brexit to be as much as $120 million each week. That is because companies would have to find space to store products, use other distributors and accept large losses at ports.
Rycroft said that the industry spent a lot of money trying to prepare for the first two Brexit time limits in March and April.
A spokeswoman for the government said it was working to support "consumers and businesses in their preparation for Brexit."
Brexit supporters say there may be some small shortages if there is a no-deal Brexit. But, they argue, Britain's economy will grow quickly once it is freed from the European Union.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.trade deal 贸易协议
They have been negotiating a bilateral trade deal.
2.fresh foods 生鲜食品
Many fresh foods are highly perishable.
3.go bad 变质；腐坏
The milk in the cup will go bad.
4.be shortages of 短缺
There will be severe shortages of food which will lead to famine and social unrest.
5.After three years of Brexit discussion, it is still unclear on what terms Britain will leave the European Union.
it is unclear 尚不明确
However, it is unclear whether they have yet tabled formal bids.
It is unclear what other changes might be on the agenda.
6.It also includes the very real possibility that Britain will pull out of the EU without negotiating any new trade agreements.
pull out of 退出
David had to pull out of the Championships when his horse went lame.
The World Bank should pull out of the project.
周三，英国一家食品行业组织发出警告 。该组织表示，如果英国在未达成贸易协议的情况下脱离欧盟，生鲜食品可能会在港口的卡车上变质、腐烂 。
蒂姆·莱克罗夫特（Tim Rycroft）是英国食品和饮料联合会的首席运营官 。他说：“虽然我们不会挨饿，但是生鲜食品和一些特定食材会出现短缺 。这一点难以预测 。”
莱克罗夫特表示：“鉴于生鲜食品容易腐烂，我们预计，无协议脱欧后的几周或数月内，会出现有选择性的食品短缺 。食品会出现一些短缺和涨价 。”
英国食品行业有45万雇员 。业内人士表示，脱欧可能是自二战以来该国面临的最大挑战 。
英国曾计划于今年3月29日正式脱离欧盟 。但是英国议会未能批准该国与其它27个成员国谈判达成的协议 。因此，英国脱欧被推迟了 。还有一种可能，英国会在未达成任何协议的情况下脱离欧盟，即“无协议脱欧” 。
经过3年的脱欧谈判，英国将以何种条款脱离欧盟仍然未知 。英国可能会再一次推迟脱欧，或是在最后时刻达成协议 。英国还有可能会在未达成任何新协议的情况下脱离欧盟 。此举可能会给进口企业带来很大麻烦 。
每年随着冬季来临，英国都会增加进口食品的数量 。莱克罗夫特解释说，随着无协议脱欧让食品滞留港口，因为官员要设法处理不同的进口规定，这种需求增加就会开始 。
新鲜蔬果通常由法国的加莱港运往英国的多佛港 。这些产品的保质期只有数日 。任何一个环节的拖延都可能导致食物变质 。
莱克罗夫特表示，他们估计应对无协议脱欧的成本每周高达1.2亿美元 。这是因为企业必须要寻找地方储存产品，动用其它经销商，并接受在港口的大量损失 。
英国脱欧的支持者表示，无协议脱欧可能会造成一些小的短缺 。但是他们认为，一旦脱离欧盟，英国经济将会迅速增长 。