I remember in the 1980 a Welsh Economist telling me that if Britain to face condition similar to World War 2 then we could not grow enough food to feed ourselves.
Its a long time since we have done so
Of course the UK population has risen substantially since the War so we can wonder how much food we can produce ourselves."In the 1930s 75 per cent of pre-war Britain’s food was imported by ship and the German U-boat blockade threatened the home front with starvation.According to the War Cabinet’s records, annual food imports had halved to 14.65million tonnes by 1941. The campaign’s tagline “Spades not ships!” encouraged citizens to start planting on all available land.By 1942 half the civilian population was part of the nation’s “Garden Front”, and ten thousand square miles of land had been "brought under the plough". School playing fields, public gardens and factory courtyards were all transformed into allotments. The moat at the Tower of London was given over to vegetable patches, and even the Royal Family sacrificed their rose beds for growing onions.Cartoon characters Captain Carrot and Potato Pete led the campaign with their own songs and recipe books. Every Sunday an audience of 3.5 million tuned in to the Home Service to listen to Britain’s first celebrity gardener, Cecil Henry Middleton, give his gardening tips.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society there were nearly 1.4 million allotments in Britain by the end of the war, which produced 1.3m tonnes of produce. The government estimated that around 6,000 pigs were kept in gardens and back yards by 1945. Along with state investment in failing farms, the campaign led to the UK halving its reliance on food imports".
Of course there will be no U Boat menace after Brexit but there does seem a hint of desperation in the claim that British farmers will be able to pick up the slack if food imports from the EU drop following Brexit, as minister Chris Grayling has said, saying the UK will cope with a no-deal departure by simply ”grow[ing] more here”.
The Secretary of State for Transport said that if Britain crashed out of the EU without securing a trade deal, British farmers would have to “produce more”.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Grayling was asked to comment to claims by the head of Sainsbury’s that there would a 22 per cent increase in food prices if there was no deal with the EU.
Mr Grayling responded that Britain would succeed “come what may”, and that it was “important to plan for all eventualities”.
“What we will do is grow more here, and will buy more from around the world. That will be bad news for continental farmers, which is why it won’t happen. It is actually in their interest to reach a deal,”
Can we expect A Dig for Brexit Campaign coming from the Government anytime soon.