Brexit clouds over Britain’s food security

At the stroke of midnight on July 3, 1954, members of the London Housewives’ Association held a ceremony in central London to mark the end of food rationing in Britain that had commenced 14 years before, after the start of the Second World War. Rationing covered goods from meat and sweets to tea and eggs (though not fish and chips, which was considered the national dish and in need of protection to keep up morale) and involved a system under which individuals had their own ration books, that determined what they were able to purchase. It still remains a key part of the nation’s collective memory. Britain’s (relative) economic prosperity since has meant that the country has never faced the prospect of food shortages — not at least until the debate over contingency planning for Brexit.

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