The Liberal Democrats have revealed the cost of the National Food Crime Unit, vital in making sure food sold in the UK is safe, has seen costs soar by more than 1000% in the past five years as a direct result of Brexit.
Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron warned the cost of Brexit is "increasingly clear" and urged Ministers to uphold high food safety standards and prevent the UK being "flooded with cheap imports that put our health at risk."
Figures uncovered by a Liberal Democrat freedom of information request have revealed the NFCU budget has gone from a budget of just £420,739 since it's creation in 2015 to more than £5.7m in 2020/21.
The extra funding comes via the expanded Food Standards Agency budget, in order to facilitate NFCU readiness for “any risks or opportunities presented by the UK’s exit from the EU.”
Liberal Democrat Food and Rural Affairs Spokesperson Tim Farron:
"We all want to know what's in every product we consume, and have faith that it's correctly labelled.
"While it is right the Government provides essential funding to tackle food crime, we cannot ignore the fact that the costs have gone up more than 1000% as a result of Brexit.
"The true cost of falling out of the EU is increasingly clear. As Ministers struggle to cut trade deals, we are set to lose access to many protections that will cost millions to replicate here in the UK.
"To end the uncertainty and prevent soaring costs, the Government must commit to upholding our high food safety standards, supporting British producers and ensuring our markets are not flooded with cheap imports that put our health at risk in the future."