Are you going to stock up food for Brexit?

I read that there is a so-called Brexit survival kit, looks like marketers playing on people’s fear. But on the whole, are you worried? Will you try to stock or you don’t believe in this panic? If yes, what will you prepare?

So-called Brexit survival kits costing almost £300 are being sold ahead of the UK leaving the EU. The packs include enough freeze-dried food to last 30 days, a water filter and fire starting gel.

Lynda Mayall, 61, said she bought a box to supplement her stocks of tinned food and toilet roll as she feared there may be “chaos” in the months after Brexit.

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Am I worried about Brexit?

Absolutely. It’s an act of collective madness that is going to damage, socially and economically, my country for decades to come.

But am I going to stock up on food? Absolutely not. Hoarding will only make matters worse and, potentially, create shortages that would not otherwise exist. There are, however, bound to be disruption in supplies and food is likely to increase in price. To be blunt, and selfish, middle class people like myself can absorb increases. As for shortages, if we have a period where the supply of, say, aubergines is affected then I can happily live without aubergines - my mothers generation would have never heard of an aubergine, let alone cooked one.

That said, Mrs H is talking about getting an extra box of tea bags next time we go to the supermarket as she doesnt see a substitute for her breakfast mug of tea.

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The word hoarding conjures up visions of unpleasantness. But stocking up over a period of weeks or months in preparation of what could happen? Well, I see nothing wrong with that. Better than scrambling around at the last minute after it hits. You can always use it up!

And no, I would never buy that freeze dried food stuff.

There is nothing that is not unpleasant about the whole matter. But your “stocking up” and my “hoarding” have the same practical result - removing supplies from supermarket shelves, so people less able to afford to bulk buy will be disadvantaged. But poorer people being disadvantaged by Brexit is what’s going to happen in all aspects. Brexit is the right wing British establishment waging class war on ordinary citizens.

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Interesting point of view. It will work if a large majority of middle class has the same conscious towards the working class. Do you think your belief is supported by the main stream?

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I really don’t know. It is complex. Certainly, there is a widely held view amongst “Remainers” that the poorest and most vulnerable in society are likely to be hardest hit by Brexit. Yet, many poorer areas in the UK voted to leave. But yes, “class war” is what many of the right wing are effectively planning. For instance, many workers rights, whilst incorporated in British law, are currently underpinned by EU law. If Britain is outside the EU, then there is nothing to stop a UK government removing rghts - and there are members of Johnson’s cabinet on record as saying they support the removal of rights.

There is a large “anti foreigner” belief in the UK. I don’t necessarily call it racist but the far right racists are stoking up the fire and are, effectively, being legitimised by the new Prime Minister and his gang. It is a worry. I am sure that, as and when problems arise - such as any food shortages - the right wingers are going to blame the EU, the “foreigners”, if you will , rather than the fact that this is all the UK’s doing. We could very easily be moving into very dangerous times for our diverse society. It is, potentially, genuinely scary.

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Yesterday when we saw your PM meeting with Macron on TV, we said actually it would be nice if as a gift, France sent Macron packed in a luggage and left with Johnson. They are such a good match as ultra liberal.

Not only in UK, same here. People seem to live too long in peace and forget the history and the world wars.

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Absolutely. My grandfather fought the Germans in World War 1 (and two great uncles were killed - one buried in Belgium the other in France. And my father fought against the Nazis in World War 2. So I am always very grateful that my generation has seen relative peace in Europe and I’ve never had to go and fight.

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There always seems to be more room for fear and mongers. People actually desire a reality of their worst fears so as to justify their righteous positions, whatever that may be.

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I think we can separate food from need from politics.

Have you eaten dehydrated food? It’s pretty generally awful. In addition, if you ALSO have fresh water problems dependence on dehydrated food makes things worse. You can live on dehydrated food but do you want to? Live that is? grin Seriously tinned and home canned and frozen food that you actually like to eat is the way to go. In my business I often go weeks and sometimes a couple of months without shopping. I’ve been through stocking for long term frontwards, backwards, and sideways and dehydrated really doesn’t make sense.

Is it necessary? From my reading and looking at where food in the UK comes from I wouldn’t worry about food. I think some personal stocks of toilet roll and facial tissue have some merit for convenience.

Politics are a different deal. I leaned toward Exit at the time of the vote (I’m not British so no vote) but as I watch the EU spiral I think Exit is making more and more sense. The bureaucrats in Brussels have a distorted view of reality with respect to economics. I think the EU needs the UK as much or more than the UK needs the EU. The US of course is a dice roll so who knows? Anyone who says they do is simply wrong.

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Where does water come from in the UK?
Wells or rivers or…?
I would never have thought water would be a brexit casualty.

Mainly rivers, feeding reservoirs in upland areas. I’m actually not sure where mine comes from as I live between two water supply areas (the service company is the same). I would have thought the only issue affecting water would be a failure in the supply chain of treatment chemicals. The problem with many manufactured products is that they may pass between the UK and other EU countries on several occasions during the process. Currently that’s seamless due to the single market but come Brexit…

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And how about energy and power supply? I think the government should be able to deal with that.

I think it would be more problematic for restaurants, for example, a French, Spanish or Italian one, which needs to buy certain imported products, like cheese, charcuterie or fresh produce.

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The only interest of selling dehydrated food is not to make the box too heavy for the factories to shops and to homes. I think most of those box would never be touched.

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Those items were widely available here in the UK prior to our EEC membership, and they’re widely available now in non EU countries. We can buy produce from all over the world here, American wine, African spices, Thai shellfish etc. The issues will be negligible.

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Agreed. But the shipping could well be the issue. No problem, if the product comes by ship direct to a UK port. But a potential problem if that shipping consignment is a Europe wide one, docking in Rotterdam for onward road transport.

Won’t you guys have to negotiate trade agreements with each of those importing countries in order for that to happen?

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Not sure I understand your question. The UK is the main importing country, unless a product is first delivered to a non-UK port.

If, for example, coffee beans are currently imported from South America direct to the UK, then there should be no issue. If, however, delivery is first to Rotterdam because the beans are going to be roasted in a plant in, say, the Netherlands, then it is potentially a problem, as with a “no deal Brexit”, the finished product will have tariffs on the export from Netherlands to the UK. Even more complicated, if the raw beans arrived at Rotterdam, needed to be exported to the UK for roasting, then exported back to, say, France for further processing and packaging, before a final export to the UK. This is precisely one of the problems as I see it with Brexit - we are trying to undo 40 years of integration possibly almost overnight. It is madness.

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As far as the science and engineering go two points derived from comments to my earlier post.

Water supply is a sensitive issue for me as on my trips I have to either carry (tanks) or make (desalination) water. For the UK the biggest issue will not be supply so much as–potentially–potability. Supplies for water treatment come from where they come from. I don’t know what that supply chain looks like. I suspect that water supply (flushing toilets) won’t be a problem but potable water might be, although probably not. This can’t possibly be worse than the Blitz. The real issue is not bacteria (chlorination, boiling) but toxins excreted by bacteria and viruses. Probability low, impact high. Frankly if the UK is dependent on the EU for water treatment chemicals and does not move very quickly on a humanitarian basis they will be reviled across the world.

I don’t think electrical power will be an issue. Even with rolling blackouts (unlikely) refrigeration will be fine. Even transportation should be okay. The biggest issue is natural gas which is 42% of generation. Where does it come from? Subject to EU tariffs and duties or not?

Frankly I think that a hard Brexit will back the EU against the wall with a soft economy in France, a softer one in Germany, and political ahem concerns in Italy. Brussels and EU member country leaders are trying to bully the UK and like most bullies they are motivated by fear and insecurity. But that’s politics and not why we’re here or what the OP asked about.

I’m not in the UK so I’m not going to stock up on food for it. In your place I would look to the issues of greatest inconvenience for shortfalls. Of the various things I can think of toilet roll and facial tissue (I have seasonal allergies) top the list. I have a lot of Jerry jugs for work so I’d probably get 40 or 60 liters of petrol. I have a number of lamps so I’d be sure to have some paraffin. Wine. We usually have two or three weeks at least of food in freezer and tins/home cans, I suspect I wouldn’t buy more.

I would keep more careful track of prices than I usually do anticipating price gouging (like the dehydrated food “kits” upthread) both before and after 31 October.

Be sure to brush up on the recipe for stone soup. grin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Soup

That is absolutely not how I see it. The decision to leave is ours and ours alone. Why on earth would the other 27 countries seek to help? Macron has, as near as diplomatically possible, said “You’ve made the decision, so just leave. Go away”. A perfectly understandable stance, IMO.

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