A no deal departure from the EU is looking like a real possibility and, that would not be without widespread implications to so many everyday things the people of the United Kingdom take for granted every single day. Whether you voted to leave or to remain, whether you’ve changed your mind or not, everyone should be aware of the issues.
At the moment the UK has few, if any, trade deals in its own right. Rather, all the deals with other nations are through the EU. That is, the other nations have a deal with the EU and, as a member state, the UK can utilise these deals. What this means is in a no deal scenario (a transition period has already been agreed in the event a deal can be struck) the UK will have to begin renegotiating all of these deals (After Brexit UK Treaties).
The impact on everyday life is huge. This is not just going to affect foodstuffs originating from the EU. This is going to affect EVERYTHING that the UK currently imports, including packaging, ingredients for products, power, and fuel. As well as treaties regarding things like travel – no you can’t just fly to America/Africa/Asia instead. Food and other things that originate in, say, China are going to be affected too.
What this might mean is massive delays at the import points in the UK. Long lines of lorries are expected at Dover, indeed changes are underway to the M20 in Kent to accommodate miles and miles of queuing lorries (M20 Lorry Park). Food, medicines and other products are likely to be caught up in the delays both in and out of the UK. The bottom line is, even if it can get to your home, it’s going to take much longer to do so.
As a family of five at best we are anticipating sporadic availability of most items we are used to being able to get when we need to; at worst we’re preparing for long delays of essentials for at least a couple of months. That is basic food items and medicines, both for us humans and our furry friends. The items most sensitive to these delays are fresh produce and medicines. Even if temporary, emergency agreements are put in place, that may well take several months to sort out – the proper, long-term agreements could take years. Following the resolution of the flow of supplies, we are anticipating a change to the products, and types of products available in the supermarket, not to mention the cost.
Whatever side of the fence you sit, given the facts, there is no denying that a no deal Brexit is going to be catastrophic – at the very least in the early stages, though probably for much, much longer.
For us we are stockpiling foods we would normally eat, but have a long shelf life, starting to grow vegetables (we are categorically NOT gardeners!) to ensure at least sporadic access to fresh veg for vitamins, buying some vegetarian sources of protein (we are very much an omnivorous family!), keeping on top of medicine prescriptions, getting extra paracetamol in and ensuring we are prepared for possible interruptions to power supply amongst other things.
On Saturday I did something I have never done before, I attended a protest march in London. The march was in support of The People’s Vote, a campaign to put a final choice of options to the public vote, a campaign to give everyone a voice. The proposed options cover: whatever deal the PM has agreed, no deal, and remain. The purpose of a People’s Vote is to give Leavers a voice, Remainers a voice, and I’ve-changed-my-minders a voice. The vast majority of placards and banners there were against Brexit but it was good to also see a large number of placards wanting a second chance, eluding to having voted Leave the last time: “I didn’t vote for calamity”, “We voted on fiction, now we want to vote on fact”, and “I didn’t vote for THIS” as just a few examples.
To use a phrase seen on many placards: Even Baldrick had a F**king Plan!