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Food Security

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 26 November 2020

Question 4 has been withdrawn. If the substantive question cannot be answered, do not worry. I call the shadow Minister.

May I associate those on this side of the House with the Secretary of State’s comments on the appalling loss of the Joanna C?

Twenty-six per cent. of our food comes from the European Union, and it is reported that last week DEFRA’s head of food security warned industry reps to expect just 40% flow rates. I am sure the Secretary of State will want to provide reassurance on that, but as we have already heard, his attempts to placate livestock farmers recently led to some pretty dreadful headlines in the farming press. “Laughable” was the comment from the Farmers Guardian. Can he do better today and explain the plans he has in place to keep our food supplies flowing in just 35 days’ time?

We have worked with industry to ensure that the capacity is in place to issue export health certificates, and we have been contacting meat processors, fish processors and others in the sector to ensure that they are prepared for the new administration that will be required, and of course we continue to work on plans to ensure that goods flow at the border.