British farmers will be able to pick up the slack if food imports from the EU drop following Brexit, minister Chris Grayling has said, saying the UK will cope with a no-deal departure by simply ”grow[ing] more here”.
The Secretary of State for Transport said that if Britain crashed out of the EU without securing a trade deal, British farmers would have to “produce more”.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Grayling was asked to comment to claims by the head of Sainsbury’s that there would a 22 per cent increase in food prices if there was no deal with the EU.
Mr Grayling responded that Britain would succeed “come what may”, and that it was “important to plan for all eventualities”.
“What we will do is grow more here, and will buy more from around the world. That will be bad news for continental farmers, which is why it won’t happen. It is actually in their interest to reach a deal,” Mr Grayling said.
The news comes as Labour said it would join the Conservatives to block a no-deal Brexit.
John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, said there were “enough sensible people in the House of Commons” to prevent the growing risk of a no-agreement exit.
He said Labour would “put aside party interest” to strike alliances with MPs in other parties, which would force the Government to “come to their senses”.
A key amendment has already been tabled, in part by former Tory Chancellor Kenneth Clarke, to give parliament the ability to veto an out come of “no deal” – or even a “bad deal” – outcome.
It demands that the Prime Minister’s plan for a two-year transition period is written into the EU Withdrawal Bill, preventing Brexit if that transition is not agreed.