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Anticipated impacts of Brexit scenarios on UK food prices and implications for policies on poverty and health: a structured expert judgement approach
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  • Published on:
    Brexit and food security: long-term implications for public health
    • Martine J Barons, Director of the Applied Statistics & Risk Unit University of Warwick
    • Other Contributors:
      • Willy Aspinall, Principal Consultant
      • Steve Brewer, Network Coordinator for the Internet of Food Things Network Plus
      • Peter Crosskey, Director

    Dear Editor,
    We welcome the BMJ Appeal [1] to support independent food banks; as Watson & Lloyd point out [2], it has the potential to have significant and immediate benefits for food insecurity and children’s health. Perhaps more important for longer term change, is the powerful voice of doctors and nurses in advocating for the ability for all citizens to be able to access a healthy diet for physical and mental health and wellbeing.

    The immediate and direct effects of the national coronavirus pandemic response strategies on food security and nutrition are well documented in Baraniuk’s exposition [3]. Food banks report an enormous uplift in demand for emergency food aid (Trussell Trust: 47% increase in first six months of the crisis compared to the same period in 2019[4]; IFAN: 110% rise February to November 2020 compared to 2019 [5]).

    However, the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 now adds to this already uncertain landscape, with the prospect of reduced levels of employment, general downward pressure on wages and perturbations in food supply[6]. In speaking of this disruption, Lang et al [7] state the “The jury is out as to whether these are mere ‘teething problems’ or permanent features of the new normal”.

    In an initial expert elicitation in 2019 [8], we asked the question ‘what will be the “new normal” in terms of food prices after Brexit and what are the implications for health?’ When the deadline for the completio...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    Authors on the paper to which response is made. As suggested by Shona Reeves.