The UK’s Food and Drinks Federation (FDF) has responded angrily to a speech by Dominic Raab, the minister responsible for Brexit, during which he dismissed “lurid predictions from the prophets of doom” about a no-deal scenario, including planes being grounded and ports blocked.

Raab, speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, said if the European Union insisted on trying to “lock us in via the back door” of its customs union and single market, the UK could be left with “no choice” but to leave without a deal.

However, Ian Wright, chief executive of the FDF, pointed to recent comments from Raab and the UK government’s published technical notices, in which it is seeking to outline the possible impact of no deal with the EU. Wright also referred to the Goverment’s appointment last month of a minister for food supplies, the ex-Asda and PepsiCo executive David Rutley.

“It’s all very well for Dominic Raab to decry scaremongering on a no-deal Brexit, but just two months ago he was the one raising the possibility of stockpiling food and calling in the squaddies to help,” Wright said.

“Their [Raab’s colleagues’] technical notices lay bare just how severe blockages at the ports would be for food coming in and out of our country. Indeed, the government takes this so seriously that just last week it appointed a food supplies minister. The last person to occupy such a position oversaw the end of rationing in 1954.”

Raab had the “whole of the government machine is busy preparing for no deal” – not because they want it to happen or because it’s likely, but “because it might happen”.

But Wright warned: “We face grisly consequences if we do not secure a deal with the EU – it is not scaremongering, it is scary. 

“We are already seeing food and drink prices rise in response to the threat of a no-deal Brexit as businesses begin to stockpile and hedge currency risk. 

“The government must act quickly if it is to protect the interest of shoppers and consumers, who have come to expect year-round availability of high-quality food and drink at all price points.”