COVID-19 is a reminder of how deeply the UK’s food security is dependent on the EU

28 May 2020 / Eric Swales

New LSE Brexit blog post by Tony Heron.

Prior to and since the June 2016 referendum, the politics of Brexit has been accompanied by two recurrent (and seemingly contradictory) narratives: first, the narrative of Brexit as ‘taking back control’ for those voters ‘left behind’ by the twin forces of globalisation and multiculturalism; and second, the narrative of ‘Global Britain’ – that is, Brexit as an opportunity for the UK to reclaim its historical role as a champion of global free trade, unencumbered by the EU’s supposedly inward-looking, protectionist leanings. In this blog, Tony Heron explores some of the tensions and contradictions between these two themes through the prism of food and agriculture – arguably the sector most defined by EU membership – in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply put, what impact, if any, will the current crisis have on the political choices the government will be forced to confront in its trade negotiations with the EU and US.