The warning comes after the UK food industry threatened to break off cooperation with the government because of the “catastrophic” risk of leaving the EU with no deal in place.
Organisations including the FDF, the National Farmers’ Union and the Federation of Bakers said all attention should be focused on how to deal with a no-deal Brexit, which is becoming “ever more the likeliest outcome”.
On Tuesday, Ian Wright, the FDF’s chief executive, told the BBC: “A third of my staff on any one day are in conversations and discussions with government representatives to help planning for a no-deal Brexit. This is becoming all consuming and the dangers are huge.
“Many businesses are threatened with extinction.”
He added: “One in 10 of our members surveyed last week believe that a no-deal Brexit could cause them such damage that they might have to go out of business.”
The food and drink bosses’ letter to the government comes weeks after the UK’s biggest retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose, warned politicians that a no-deal Brexit in March will see items disappear from supermarket shelves and could put the UK’s food security at risk.