A no-deal Brexit threatens the UK’s food security and will lead to higher prices and empty shelves in the short-term, retailers are warning.
Sainsbury’s, Asda and McDonald’s are among those warning stockpiling fresh food is impossible and that the UK is very reliant on the EU for produce.
The warning comes in a letter from the British Retail Consortium and is signed by several of the major food retailers.
It comes ahead of crucial votes in Parliament on Tuesday.
Just in case we crash out of the EU, and just in case it then all goes to shit, we told you so. Wasn’t our fault. Nothing we could have done. No contingency plan we could have implemented.
If the predicted chaos does not ensue, and you don’t notice any difference, and our businesses thrive in-spite of a no-deal Brexit, well.. that’s because we did a great job, and you were lucky. By the way, we’ll put our prices up anyway and blame Brexit for that and swear blind we had no choice.
The letter, signed by Sainsbury’s, Asda, M&S, The Co-op, Waitrose, Costcutter, KFC, Pret a Manger, McDonalds and Lidl represents a get-out-of-jail-free card for all of these chief execs for whatever happens in an increasingly cut-throat retail marketplace and increasingly hostile regulatory enviroment for bad-food (anything with salt, sugar, fat, preservatives, processed etc).
Never mind that Pret is doomed now because of the allergy scandal – it’s failure will be ascribed to Brexit. Never mind that Waitrose has been systematically destroying its own business for a couple of years now, with poor stock control, and despondent, demoralised employees – Brexit. Never mind that if the merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda goes ahead, it will naturally result in store closures (Brexit) and job losses (Brexit) and it’s possible that they will alienate customers who have a dislike of either brand.
Never mind that Amazon Fresh is gearing up to completely disrupt the groceries marketplace. Never mind that KFC, which had a major supply chain disaster last year without any Brexit intervention whatsoever, is being killed by Nando’s and in any city centre, there are now a dozen better burger choices than McDs. Never mind that every year, fast food is squeezed further by food regulations and taxes, to the point where we’ll be paying £10 for a grilled piece of cardboard, between two slices of cardboard, half a lettuce, and a paper cup of tapwater, with a waxed paper straw.
Bollocks, bollocks and thrice bollocks.