Brexit

Food Shortages Are Just The Beginning

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Britain's largest trade group, the Food and Drink Federation, which represents over 7,000 business, recently warned that a hard, no-deal brexit will lead to food shortages that could last for months, but you don't have to take the word of corporations that may or may not have your best interests in mind.

According to the British government, food shortages will be just the beginning. The government also believes a hard brexit will lead to shortages of fuel and medical supplies while cross-channel transportation is gridlocked for months.

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, according to leaked official documents reported by the Sunday Times whose interpretation was immediately contested by ministers. [...]

The Times said up to 85% of lorries using the main Channel crossings may not be ready for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improved.

The government also believes a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member, will be likely as plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable, the Times said.

Members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's administration did not dispute the authenticity of these documents that lay out the government's expectations for a hard brexit, but they did say none of this is going to happen because things are somehow different now.

“It is the case, as everyone knows, that if we do have a no-deal exit there will inevitably be some disruption, some bumps in the road. That’s why we want a deal,” [Brexit minister Michael Gove] told reporters.

But it is also the case that the UK government is far more prepared now than it was in the past, and it’s also important for people to recognise that what’s being described in these documents... is emphatically a worst-case scenario,” Gove added.

Johnson was officially sworn in as prime minister by Queen Elizabeth less than one month ago. "The past" is barely past.

It is true that Johnson's administration is writing checks to prepare for a hard brexit, but that doesn't mean they can violate the laws of physics.

The more members of Johnson's government say everything is going to be fine, the more I worry it won't be. These are not people who base their politics in empirical reality. If they were, we wouldn't even be having this discussion because there would be no brexit.

If Boris Johnson follows through on his pledge to leave the European Union no matter what, Britain is not going to have a merry Christmas.

  • The United States decided to self-own by electing Trump. Britain, apparently feeling left out, said “Hold my beer.”

  • Aynwrong

    “But it is also the case that the UK government is far more prepared now than it was in the past,”

    A more Trumpian description I couldn’t imagine.

    These people are turning V for Vendetta into an instruction manual.

  • muselet

    Not only that, but France is warning that it will honor the fishing agreements now in effect only as long as the UK does. French fishermen have threatened to blockade the ports to stop British-caught fish being sold in France after Brexit.

    And, as the cherry on top, the government has declared Brexit will mean an immediate end to EU free movement rules.

    There is a whole universe of negative consequences to Brexit that the Leave side either never anticipated or hand-waved away. That’s not surprising. What is surprising that even a government run by a boob like Boris Johnson would be this reckless and irresponsible.

    I guess I need to recalibrate my expectations regarding ninnies in government.

    –alopecia

    • Sadly, no one ever thought the referendum would end up with ‘Leave’ winning. Once they got the okay, though, the authoritarians got the metaphorical bit in their teeth and headed for the hills, and no amount of pulling back on the reins was enough to stop them.

      • muselet

        If the Conservative Party weren’t terrified of the likes of UKIP making inroads with its voters, Brexit would have been a harebrained scheme that went nowhere.

        If a few dozen Eurosceptics—Boris Johnson very much included—aren’t tarred and feathered after this debacle plays out, I will be very disappointed in the British public.

        –alopecia

        • If we were French, we’d be rioting in the streets. Sadly, we’re Brits, and we have large but very calm protest marches… Which don’t even make the news when there are over a million people.

  • Believe me, those of us who live here in the UK are biting our nails. “Brexit Anxiety” is actually a medical condition now. I’ve taken my meds prescriptions as often as I can so I’ve stockpiled as much as I can. Come October, I think I’ll stock up on as many canned goods as I can fit into my storage, just in case. And I’m buying everything that will come from the EU before October 31. It’s as horrifying over here with the Tories as it is in the US with Trump.