Whenever we can we’ve been out at Wood Street in Old Town (Swindon) to raise awareness of the disaster that could unfold for food in the UK post-brexit.
After talking to people in the street, the responses we get on this mostly depend on how we frame the question. If we frame this “patriotically”, and talk about supporting British farmers, ensuring they can compete and keeping the high quality of British food, then most people agree.
However, if this slips into “culture war” territory, namely if it becomes about Brexit and Trump, then it muddies the waters. To be clear, it seems likely the new trading regime post-Brexit will harm the food situation in the UK, but not because it had to. Instead, it’s because our leaders are choosing to make this sacrifice. They could choose to maintain our high European food standards, and come to a more formal agreement about this with the EU. Instead, they prefer to do a deal with the USA, whatever the cost. The party line on this is that they will not lower food standards in the UK, however one does wonder how long that will last in a No-Deal scenario if the new American President decides to play hardball.
So, in summary, most people agree we should maintain our high (European) foodstandards, as long we make this about british food and helping british farmers, and not about liking or disliking America, and specific elements of their food policy.