A video of Nigel Farage dismissing the threat of Brexit-caused food shortages as “utter tosh” has not aged well.
In a 2019 interview with ITV’s Robert Peston, Peston tells Farage that the government’s Yellowhammer report on Brexit consequences predicts potential shortages of food and medicines, as well as chaos for British people living in the EU.
“Why on earth would anybody vote for that?,” Peston asked.
Farage replied: “I’ve never seen such utter tosh in my entire life. Unlike the civil servants sitting in Whitehall, I spent 20 years in international trade, buying and selling goods and shipping them all over the world.
“The idea, given that there are over 100 active ports in the United Kingdom, that even if there was a problem at Dover, that there would be food shortages, is complete and utter rubbish, it’s Project Fear, it should be utterly, completely, totally, disregarded.”
WATCH | "I've never seen such utter tosh in my life… There are over 100 active ports in the UK, there won't be food shortages. It's utter rubbish – Project Fear Mark 2… it should be utterly, completely, totally disregarded!" @Nigel_Farage nails it!pic.twitter.com/xnOZYhFg3X— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) September 12, 2019
But the past few months have seen warnings that shortages of Christmas food are expected this year, with meat such as turkeys and pigs in blankets under threat.
And poultry magnate Ranjit Singh Boparan warned Brexit may lead to the worst food shortages since the war. He said labour shortages are pushing his industry to a ‘crisis point’, according to Metro.
Last month, Nando’s had to shut 45 restaurants after suffering a shortage of chicken as industry suppliers warned supply chain disruption is “not going away”.
The restaurant chain said it had to close sites after it was impacted by staffing shortages at suppliers and reduced numbers of lorry drivers, which have also impacted supermarket shelves in recent weeks.
The army was ready to step in to tackle UK’s lorry drivers shortage, which is one of the leading causes of food shortages.
Around 100,000 truck drivers, previously made up primarily of Eastern Europeans, have left the government desperately trying to fill the vacancies because of post-Brexit rules.
But although transport minister Grant Shapps admitted the road freight sector faces “historic shortages” he said: “I do not support using foreign labour to tackle a long-standing issue in the haulage industry.”
Shapps insisting leaving the European Union has provided the UK with the “opportunity to introduce a new immigration system while building a more resilient domestic workforce”.
Among measures the government did take to tackle the shortages are the relaxation of tests for lorry drivers, as well as a “temporary extension” of drivers’ working hours.
Both measures have sparked fears over the safety of UK roads, but were hailed as a benefit from “increased post-Brexit sovereignty”, according to The Independent.