Oldham Council has set aside £20k to subsidise food banks in the event of a no-deal Brexit, anticipating that households will make fewer donations to food banks in the “economic fallout of Brexit”.
The Government has allocated a total of £77 million to help local areas prepare for exiting the EU, with Oldham Council receiving £315k from this pot.
The move comes after MPs forced the Government to publish their no-deal contingency plan – Operation Yellowhammer – last Wednesday.
The dossier, warning of the rise in food prices, medicine shortages, protests and counter-protests, and delays at ports, represents the worst-case scenario should Britain leave the EU without a deal.
Operation Yellowhammer warns that, while overall food shortages are unlikely, there may be reduced availability and choice of products in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which would increase prices and disproportionately impact vulnerable groups.
The Leader of Oldham Council, Labour Cllr. Sean Fielding, said: “We are providing funding to food banks because the anticipation is that, as generous Oldham households who donate foodstuffs to food banks come under more pressure because of the economic fallout of Brexit, they will make fewer donations to food banks.”
Conservative Cllr. John Hudson complained that Brexit had become a ‘dirty word’: “I think most people are fed up, whether they voted leave or remain, they just want the damn thing done and to move on.”
“You have to remember you’re in a council chamber that represents people and democracy.”
Two-thirds of Britons (64%) expect food prices to increase in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a recent YouGov survey. Opinion was split over whether food shortages were likely, with 62% of Remain voters expecting shortages compared to only 12% of Leave voters.
Boris Johnson maintains that the UK will leave on the 31st October, “do or die, come what may.”