Scotland did not vote for Brexit or the mess the UK Government has gotten us in to. Theresa May’s and her party’s disastrous approach to Brexit has led to a rise in food insecurity. Dominic Raab, the former Brexit secretary admitted that the government will have to take steps to ensure that there are adequate food supplies for Britain to cover the eventuality of a no-deal departure from the EU.
Half the UK’s food is imported: 30% comes from the EU, so retaining strong links is essential. This is why the SNP want to, in the first instance, remain part of the EU. This is the best possible way to ensure that UK citizens do not have to bear the brunt of tariffs and non-tariff costs.
The SNP is doing everything we can in Westminster to protect the people of Scotland from the mess the UK Government have created. However, we are also aware that Brexit is not the only source of food insecurity. The UK Government’s austerity policies have also had a dire impact.
The SNP is taking actions to address this. In Scotland we have increased high quality childcare to 600 hours a year for all 3 and 4 year olds and extend it to eligible 2 year olds. The SNP Government in Scotland has also continued the £1 million a year Fair Food Fund into 2018/19. In addition, a further £1 million over the next two years will fund new activity to support children facing food insecurity, particularly during school holidays. In Scotland we also provide free school meals for all pupils in P1-3, and for those from a low income background throughout their time at school.
We have raised the issue of food security numerous times with the UK Govermment, which they refuse to offer a reasonable and pragmatic response to.
The only way to protect against food shortages would be to remain in the EU. We are calling on the UK Government to abandon their doomed Brexit deal, extend Article 50 and put a vote to the people on remaining in the EU.