BRITAIN is facing the prospect of food rationing because of shortages as a result of Brexit, the author of a bombshell report has warned.

Professor Tim Lang said insufficient supplies after the UK leaves the European Union could see the Government forced to adopt a measure last used during the Second World War and the post-war era.

However, Lang said the UK was currently less prepared for rationing than it was in 1939 as planning had started three years earlier by Sir William Beveridge ahead of the build-up to the conflict.

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The senior academic spoke out as he prepared to publish a damning study next week on the impact of Brexit on the supply, quality and price of food.

He said that 30% of Britain’s food supply comes directly from EU countries and a further 11% via deals done by the EU with other countries.

“Is rationing possible? Well, if we are cut off from 41% of our food that might be one of the things that has to be done,” he told The National.

Lang, a professor of food policy at City University, London, said prepar-ations were better ahead of rationing being introduced during the Second World War.

“Beveridge was brought back in 1936 and started making preparations, but there are no preparations for this at all,” he said. “What we are seeing is chaotic last-minute planning. It is humiliating, frankly.”

Lang added that an adequate supply of fruit and vegetables was a particular worry.

“Britain does not produce enough of its own fruit and vegetables,” he said. “We consume about nine and half billion tonnes of fruit and vegetables every year, 8.1 billion of that comes from across the Channel.”

Lang said that in order to avoid bread rationing, farmers would have to stop feeding wheat to cattle, so the supply could instead be used for bread supplies.

He said: “If we stop feeding wheat to cattle, we should have enough bread.”

Lang added: “I think the British public should start getting very stroppy with their MPs for allowing this chaos to happen. I am a public health expert. Does the Government have a responsibility for ensuring its people are fed? Well, the answer is it does under UN health declarations.”

Asked if people would not get enough food post Brexit, Lang said: “Very, very quickly, we could be heading to that situation. There are people hungry in Britain already, there is malnourishment already, and severe inequalities. The Government’s resilience planning is complacent. You will see that in my report on Monday.”

Lang’s report comes a year after his major study warned on the adverse impact on food supply and prices of even a soft Brexit.

In it, he said the Government was “sleepwalking” into a post-Brexit future of insecure, unsafe and increasingly expensive food supplies, and had little idea as to how it would replace decades of EU regulation on the issue.

Co-authored with Professor Erik Millstone from Sussex University and Professor Terry Marsden from Cardiff University, the report said that there had been an almost complete lack of action so far in a host of areas connected to food and farming, including subsidies, migrant farm labour and safety standards.

The 88-page report noted that large elements of EU agricultural and fisheries policies would need major reform even if Britain remained a member.

Lang said his new report was even more critical of the Government. “Our fears have got worse since last year,” he said. “To be honest, things have got worse. The clock is ticking. We have no clarity about what is going on.”

MP Stephen Gethins, the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman, said Lang’s reports and warnings over the possible introduction of rationing underlined the severity of the impact may Brexit have.

“These worrying warnings are the latest in a growing list of findings that highlight the severity of the UK Government’s Brexit plans,” he said. “With each day that passes, it becomes clear that the continuing civil war dominating the Tory Party is pushing Scotland and the UK closer to the Brexit abyss.

“Businesses, academics and industry experts are increasingly bringing to light the catastrophic consequences the UK government’s hard Brexit plans will have on the UK. Yet, the Prime Minister has chosen to brush aside the evidence.”

Gethins added: “It’s high time the Prime Minister heeded the mounting evidence and stepped back from the cliff edge.”

Lang’s 2017 report criticised the Government for not warning consumers about the “enormous” implications. He said then: “UK food security and sustainability are now at stake. A food system which has an estimated three to five days of stocks cannot just walk away from the EU, which provides us with 31% of our food.”