With Brexit moving ever closer, the implications that Britain may face because of leaving the European Union are becoming more and more clear. It was promised that Brexit would be the ‘easiest trade deal in history’ and would allow the British government to spend an extra £350million on the NHS. Now we’re not even sure we’ll be able to put food on the table.
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Brexit negotiations. Depending on how they work out, the implication on Britain’s food supplies may be profound, with shortages up and down the country. Many of the ingredients used in the everyday items found in our supermarkets are sourced from within the European Union. That got us thinking, how could Brexit effect the traditional English breakfast?
Perhaps the most integral parts of an English breakfast, bacon and sausages are a firm favourite of the British public. At the moment, we produce 47% of our bacon and sausage in the UK, with the other 53% being imported from the EU and further afield. Once Brexit happens, Britain could be at risk of losing 43% of its supplies.
The majority of tomatoes consumed in the UK are imported from the EU. In total, 59% are shipped over from mainland Europe to the UK every year. Our tomato production, which currently sits at 29% of total consumption may have to increase substantially after Brexit.
Similar to tomatoes, 62% of mushrooms, both fresh and chilled, consumed in the UK are imported from Europe. The rest are produced within the UK (37%) and countries outside of the EU (1%).
There’s much better news when it comes to eggs. We produce 92% of the eggs that we consume in the UK, with 7% being imported from the EU. This puts the UK in a strong position when negotiating with other countries about the tariffs that they may place on eggs when Brexit occurs.
The UK produces 78% of its potatoes from which hash browns are made. 14% are imported from the EU and the other 8% comes from countries outside of the EU. So, thankfully, it’s likely that your English breakfast won’t be lacking those all-important hash browns after Brexit.