Michael Gove to employ 'military planner' focused on 'no deal food shortages'
Planning for leaving the European Union without a deal reaches new heights
Michael Gove intends to hire a "military planner" from the ministry of defence amid fears of food shortages after a no deal Brexit, it is reported.
The MOD official will start in January to help guarantee food is supplied to rural areas in the event of a "worst case scenario," the Telegraph reports.
Citing an unnamed government source, the paper says it has seen government documents, known as Operation Yellowhammer, that detail plans and procedures for accessing food .
It operates on the assumption that "in extremis" trade at Calais and Dover would be severely hampered and as a result consumers would face a "restricted diet."
A "dramatic reduction in livestock production" is also advocated so food could be given to people rather than animals.
The same unnamed source says MOD locations are being assessed as potential food stores to guarantee supply to rural communities.
The report says: "Should an extreme event (such as no access to trade) impact the UK's access to food, UK agriculture has enough nutritious food for the vulnerable, however it would be a restricted diet with less choice for consumers.
"Maximising calorie production would lead to a dramatic reduction in livestock production with all crop production used for human food where possible instead of animal feed.
"UK agriculture is also reliant on imported energy, fertiliser, seeds and machinery. If the scope for trade was ever completely removed, domestic agriculture itself would be deprived of essential inputs.
"We have not made an assessment of the potential of UK food production to feed the population if we did not have access to critical dependencies."
Michael Gove is said to be considering the offer of an extra official and is expected to accept. A Whitehall source is quoted as saying: "This is just sensible contingency planning for a worst-case scenario. It’s unlikely to happen but it is responsible to prepare just in case."