There has been plenty of scaremongering talk of late about stockpiling food and medicine in the case of a No Deal Brexit result, but should we all be panicking?
It sounds like something from the Victorian ages, but it doesn’t take much for the herd mentality to set in and people to rush off down to the local Tesco Express to buy 50 litres of mineral water and 148 tins of baked beans.
There’s no fear of war, no bombers flying overhead, no sirens….just the very real sense that the government is making a complete
abomination of the sensitive Brexit negotiations.
In short, it is possible – and we must emphasise that word ‘possible’ – that a No Deal verdict from Brussels would leave the UK short in some areas in which we currently rely on European providers for. Namely, food and medicine.
It could be a disruptive time for avant garde sandwich lovers, with chicken, lettuce and avocado stocks expected to be most devastatingly hit.
On a serious note, the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, which supplies insulin amongst other things, is having to increase their stocks in order to prepare for a potential No Deal.
“Patient safety is our main priority and we have made arrangements for additional warehouse capacity in order to stockpile our products, where global supply allows, in the UK and increase UK-based resource to prepare for any changes to customs or regulatory processes,” said Hugo Fry, the firm’s managing director.
Just as worrying is the need to manage blood stocks, which could be affected if there are problems getting supplies through ports and across borders.
“We are working with industry for the potential need for stockpiling in the event of a no-deal Brexit,” said the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. “I hope that even under a no-deal scenario that there will still be smooth movement in through ports.”
The implications for industry extend beyond healthcare, too. Many firms in engineering, production and technology rely on ‘just in time’ supply lines, which minimises costs and maximises efficiency. Many of these JIT operators rely upon timely deliveries from the EU, however, and firms like Rolls Royce and Airbus may have to change their production techniques as a consequence of a No Deal decision.
Some clarity would be nice, Theresa.
The key date in all this is October 18, when the key EU summit will take place. Here a decision should be made on the future of relations between the UK and the European Union, and it is at this point which a No Deal resolution will be determined.
If an agreement can’t be reached, there is a fall-back option in December 2018, but this really is the worse case scenario.
Your Key Questions Answered
So what happens when the Brexit agreement is reached – or otherwise? Will life change for us?
Here’s a few answers to some of the questions you may have.
Will I Still Be Able to Go On Holiday to EU Countries?
“It is theoretically conceivable in a no-deal scenario that there will be no air traffic moving between the UK and EU on 29 March 2019.”
Those were the chimes of doom spoken by the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, last year. The upshot is that there will be negotiations required that relate specifically to the single aviation market which the EU currently operates.
The UK would need to negotiate a position that allows air traffic from the UK to pass through the EU flight zone without penalty.
But will the EU play ball? That’s the million dollar question.
Should I still Book My Holiday for Summer 2019?
To answer the question, we’ll give you the thoughts of Roy Kinnear, the chief commercial officer of FlyBe.
“Right now we will continue to sell in the hope and belief that when a conclusion comes to the Brexit scenario, common sense will prevail and people will realise the need for intra-Europe travel,” he said.
“The biggest fear has to be if at the eleventh hour and fifty-ninth minute there is a complete cessation and breakdown, and a shutdown of air travel between the UK and Europe. That is the ultimate worry.”
As such, it might be wise to hold fire for the time being. Ryanair are even introducing a ‘Brexit clause’ in their tickets, which would see refunds issued if a flight is cancelled due to complications from the negotiations.
Do I Need to Ask my Doctor for a Greater Dose of My Prescription?
No. The NHS is ahead of the curve, and has been preparing for a No Deal result for quite some time.
Not all medicines are produced in the EU either, so not all patients will be affected, and there is a certain amount of manufacturing capacity in the UK.
And if you start hoarding medicines and your prescription changes, that will be a lot of money and healthcare gone to waste.
If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to talk to your pharmacist about their plans in the event of a No Deal vote.