Over the past weeks, Brexit has been all the talk on the news in the UK, and possibly worldwide. With a no deal on the cards, do the British public really know what could be ahead of them?
Local authorities are struggling to work out what they need to do to plan for a no deal after the UK leaves Europe, and the government is stockpiling food, blood and medicines.
According to this Sky News article, nearly 30 councils have responded to a freedom of information request for their Brexit plans, with some expressing mounting incredulity and exasperation at having to plan to deliver local public services against a backdrop of highly uncertain Brexit negotiations with Europe and within government.
What Does this Mean for UK Citizens and Businesses?
The Brexit sectary has promised that there will be “adequate” food supplies whatever happens. Does this mean we will be back to war time rations? Or does this mean they are doing their very best to stockpile food so that we can continue living and eating the way we currently do? Britain spends around £50bn a year on medicine and non perishable foods from the EU. This means stocking up on just one months worth of food will cost £4bn – more than the entire no-deal budget, of £3bn! Do you really think they are going to do that?
Companies around the UK will also be affected by a no deal. Airbus said it has asked its suppliers to start ramping up their stock components for aeroplanes. Pharmaceutical firms such as AstraZeneca, Novartis and Sanofi have also said that they will be increasing their inventories incase of a no deal with Europe.
If food shortages hit the UK streets, you can expect to see many unhappy citizens, and the possibility of riots and social unrest in our towns and cities. Hungry people will do anything for a meal, so you are advised to take precautions regarding this issue, whether it be stockpiling food and medication, upping your home security or having a means to defend yourself should someone break into your home in search of food.
Advice for UK Citizens Regarding Brexit
1. Stockpile Food
You could have guessed this would be on the list, but stockpiling food for a no deal is a very wise thing to do. It means you will not have to rely on government stockpiles, and will have the freedom to enjoy most of your normal meals without the worry of the food no being available at the stores.
If you have some extra cash around at the minute, I suggest buying up some long life foods, such as baked beans, rice, pasta, tinned potatoes, tinned meat and such. Remember, only buy food you like eating, there is no point stocking up on foods that you and your family hate.
Buying and storing some sweets and biscuits along with tea bags and coffee would also be a great move.
2. Stockpile Medication
Any medication you use frequently, consider upping your stock. Pain killers, hay fever medication, and anything else you use, you may want to start stashing away now.
Other simple items, such as plasters, bandages, antiseptic creams and what not may also be a good idea to stockpile.
3. Stockpile Goods You Use That Come From Abroad
The pound may get weaker, which means we will have less buying power per pound than we are used to, so everything will get more expensive. That head and shoulders shampoo you use may double in price, or the knife that you have been eyeing up from the USA, may go up another $80!
Shampoo, shower-gel, razors, knives, gun ammo etc that you use on a daily or regular basis and don’t want to be parted from, stock up on them now. Anything and everything that you can think of, that is produced outside the UK, get your hands on them, asap!
With all that being said, it’s not all dark. British made goods will not increase in price too much, so don’t bother hoarding product from the UK, but, foods and produce from outside the UK will go up in price, which is why it is worth stocking up now. It could also be a good opportunity for British businesses who don’t rely on imports to scale up and grow their business.
4. Save Money
Once you have your stockpiles setup and everything is to your liking, it’s time to start saving up some money in the form of cash, and gold or silver. Chances are, anything imported to the UK is going to go up in price, so having some extra money in the bank to cover these costs is going to help you out.
We have no idea how long the economic turmoil will last, so the more you can save now, the better. Buying some gold and silver means, that in the event of a total collapse, you will still have some net worth in the form of precious metals.
5. Get a Irish Passport if from Northern Ireland
Although Northern Ireland folk may not be effected by the no deal as much as people from England, Scotland and Wales, due to their ability to go to Southern Ireland to grab “EU” supplies, it’s still worth stocking up if you live there. Back to the point, if your from N.Ireland, apply for an Irish passport, that way you will still be a member of the EU, and can move freely around Europe. The more options you have, the better.
6. Capital Controls May be Enacted
Now, the chances of this happening are pretty slim, but. we did see it in Greece not so long ago. Cash withdrawals could be limited, and funds may be taken from your bank account by the government for their use, so having cash on hand is essential. Even £250 in notes can make a big difference, but, as always, the more, the better.
7. Social Unrest
Given that their may be shortages of food or prices go up, that means people may have to go hungry as they cannot afford food, or simply get access to it. This may cause problems in the streets, and rioting may set in. If you live in densely populated areas, you are going to be at most risk from social unrest, so, like I said above, you may want to up the security at your home.
Preparing for a no deal with Europe is a smart move, and if you haven’t already started, I suggest you do so, now. Stockpile food, medication and all the essential items that come from abroad, and save some money, and you should be able to ride it out.