United Kingdom

Care homes might be forced to introduce RATIONING under a No Deal Brexit, leaked documents reveal

Care homes could be forced to introduce rationing under a No Deal Brexit, leaked documents revealed last night.

And schoolchildren could be fed lower quality meals at higher costs as legal nutrition standards are discarded.

The warnings were delivered in local council internal planning documents for Brexit seen by the BBC.

Bedford Council said care homes are ‘advised to hold four to six weeks supply of non-perishable foodstuffs’. 

Care homes could be forced to introduce rationing under a No Deal Brexit with some councils advising to 'hold four to six weeks supply of non-perishable foodstuffs’ (file picture)

Hastings Council in East Sussex even said in its Brexit risk document: ‘There might be the need for rationing. The severity would depend on what was available and particularly the duration of any shortages.’

It is understood this is a reference to the prevention of stockpiling, more than a return to wartime ration books.

Many councils also warn that school meal costs will rise and funding for free school meals will have to increase if there is a No Deal Brexit.

Some documents say legal school meal nutrition standards may need to be amended, or discarded. 

This is because councils anticipate a rise in food prices and a restriction of choice, particularly on fresh imports from Europe.

The Government said the food industry was ‘well versed at dealing with scenarios that can affect food supply’.

Hastings Council in East Sussex said in its Brexit risk document that 'there might be the need for rationing' depending on the duration of any food shortages (file picture)

A spokesman said: ‘We have a highly resilient food supply chain and consumers in the UK have access to a range of sources of food. This will continue to be the case when we leave the EU.’

The warnings came as Boris Johnson was accused of a ‘desperate smear’ over the blaming of former ministers for the leak of warnings about a No Deal Brexit. 

Downing Street had pointed the finger at a gang of ex-frontbenchers led by Philip Hammond after a document predicting food, fuel and medicine shortages was made public. 

It was written by officials working on No Deal preparations codenamed Operation Yellowhammer.

But last night it emerged that the document was dated August 1 – a week after the PM’s Cabinet reshuffle when several former Remain campaigners were either sacked or resigned. One ex-mininster said: ‘This is just a desperate smear.’

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