The British are clogging basements and closets with overseas products. They are preparing to bid farewell to continental Europe after 45 years of living together.
In March, the UK leaves the European Union, and on December 11, the Parliament will choose the scenario of divorce: protracted and amicable or sharp and disorderly. In the second case-if the house of Commons rejects the agreement with the EU on the transition period — pre-new year purchases of gifts run the risk of raids on British supermarkets.
For what to run in the first place?
What to stock up?
To stock up what will disappear from shelves and will get stuck on border if there is a custom between Great Britain and the EU again after “Brexit” on March29.
Now a third of the food in the country is imported from Europe, and the share of fresh food is even higher — 40%. Over the years of the single market, supermarkets have become accustomed to the smooth movement of goods from the continent to The British Isles. For the remaining 4 months, they will not be able to adapt to the new conditions, if the Parliament to reject the terms of divorce from the EU on December 11.
Most British people are very reserved. Only 2% of the population took the upper hand over prudence composure, and they began to store food, showed a survey of IGD.
Justina Kovalchuk is one of them. Under the table she holds a box full of coffee and French jam. In the closet waiting for “Brexit” supply of shampoo. She was certain, that friends will laugh, but it turned out, that many not until jokes.
“Everyone thinks about it from time to time, everyone is a little nervous,” she says.
With the approaching hour x Facebook- group of thrifty opponents of “Brexit” is growing increasingly — there are almost 2.5 thousand participants.
They share advice and a 16-page “getting ready together” brochure based on recent instructions from the Swedish civil defence authority. Among other things, it got a list of products suitable for storage in case of emergency: crackers, hard cheese, pasta, canned soups, tea, coffee and nuts.
Survive without cheese and jamon
Even the most gloomy skeptics do not believe in hunger after Brexit”. Great Britain produces quite a meal and even produces its own sparkling wine of excellent quality. Most of the “preppers”, making stocks, do not care about survival, but about the usual comfort: suddenly your favorite products will disappear from the stores or rise in price?
Newspapers vying up lists of European drinks and delicacies at risk: Bordeaux and Chianti, Camembert and Parmesan, prosciutto and jamon.
The liberal Guardian advises to stock up on olive oil, rice and canned tomatoes, beans and tuna.
Scottish Scotsman offers to fill the cellar with champagne and Belgian chocolate, to stock up with flour, salt, sugar and toilet paper.
The authorities reassure the population: there is no reason to worry. The government itself does not plan to store food and does not advise citizens.
“Food security in the UK is at a premium thanks to the variety of suppliers, both domestic and foreign. And it will remain so, we will leave the EU with or without an agreement, ” – said the representative of the Ministry of exit from the EU.
Refrigerators are clogged
Supermarkets have not yet noticed a surge in demand for either delicacies or essential goods, says the industry organization of British retailers. However, their nerves on edge.
“The main problem of disorderly “Brexit” is the supply of perishable fresh products,” said Dave Lewis, the Manager of the country’s largest supermarket chain Tesco.
Across the UK until the end of March there was not a meter of free storage space for frozen or chilled products, said in late November, members of Parliament Ian Wright, head of the British food industry Federation.
The return of customs to the border is fraught with empty shelves. On the main trade route through the port in Dover every day are more than 10 thousand trucks, many of them carry food. Only citrus fruits, for example, bring 300 trucks a day.
Even minor interruptions on this route, as during the strike of French ferries in 2015, or a reduction in the supply of fruits and vegetables, as last year due to weather disasters in Europe, turned into a shortage in British supermarkets.
The choice of food was, as always, is gorgeous, but the loss of one or two commodities immediately got on the front pages of Newspapers.
“The squash crisis engulfed Britain. At the empty shelves whimpers buyer,” wrote alien yellow Guardian in January last year. The tabloid Sun exaggerated panic brand endless headline: “BAD NEWS FOR LOVERS of VEGETABLES. First spinach and zucchini are missing, and now tomatoes and peppers. And all because of the bad weather in Spain.”
A slightly larger deficit is guaranteed to be the main theme for the Newspapers.
Will not disappear, so will rise in price
Supermarkets are preparing as they can. According to Lewis, Tesco has been thinking about creating inventories for a long time, but will actively address this problem after Christmas, if by that time it becomes clear that it was not possible to agree on an amicable divorce with the EU. Alcoholic chain Majestic Wine has decided to purchase additional “Brexit” 1 million bottles of French, Spanish and Italian wine.
Even if interruptions can be avoided, prices for imported products in the event of a chaotic break with Europe in March will certainly grow, experts warn.
“Supermarkets, of course, can fill warehouses with canned food, but milk, cheese and fruit is another matter,” says Catherine Shuttleworth, an analyst in the retail sector from Savvy Agency.
If the clumsy “Brexit” will lead to food shortages, supermarkets will raise prices to bring down the hype, she warns.
In addition, the return of customs and problems with transshipment through Dover and Eurotunnel will force retailers to carry products by air, which will inevitably affect their cost.
The government this week acknowledged that any “Brexit” would damage the UK economy, but the messy gap would become particularly painful. The accumulation of reserves in the event of a cataclysm only exacerbates the suffering, economists say, because the damage from the divorce from Europe will be added to the inevitable slowdown in business activity after months of rapid preparation.
According to the Center for economic and business studies, British companies by the time of “Brexit” will create additional inventories of almost 40 billion pounds. In recent months, this has spurred the growth of British GNP, but after March, the effect will be exhausted, and the decay is inevitable.