Unite, the union, has alleged that Government is suppressing information on expected changes in food prices, as a result of Brexit.
In a freedom of information request, the union reportedly asked Defra “what assessment or estimate has been made of the increase in food prices in the run up to the UK leaving the European Union and the first five years after the UK’s departure.”
According to Unite, Defra replied: “The information requested is being withheld as it falls under the exemption in section 35 of the FOIA, which relates to the formulation and development in government policy.”
Unite said it has appealed against the decision to withhold the information, arguing that there is public interest for publishing the report, as the UK “is formulating its negotiating position with the EU”.
If the internal review is rejected, Unite has said it will appeal further to the Information Commissioners Office.
Unite’s national officer for food, drink and agriculture, Julia Long, said: “If the Government knows that Brexit is going to affect food prices, then it needs to tell the general public and not pretend that there isn’t a problem.
“The type of Brexit that the UK chooses will clearly have major implications on the nations shopping basket and we need to know what those factors will be.”
Food Management Today has contacted Defra for comment.