News of the mutated coronavirus is exacerbating the problems associated with Brexit. Associations are already warning of supply bottlenecks.
With borders closed and ferry services disrupted, British associations are warning of supply shortages. “This is a major supply route for fresh produce at this time of year,” BRC trade association food expert Andrew Opie said, according to a news release. Few hauliers would risk sending their drivers to the U.K. – with no guarantee they could return to the continent. The head of the RHA transport association, Richard Burnett, told BBC Radio 4 on Monday that transporting fresh and perishable goods is now the biggest challenge.
BRC chief Opie called on the British government and the EU to find a pragmatic solution as soon as possible to avoid disruption to deliveries before Christmas if possible. At present, he said, warehouses are full. “But any prolonged closure of the French border would be a problem,” the official said. Normally, about 10,000 trucks a day would cross the English Channel in the run-up to Christmas.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called a crisis government meeting for Monday. The meeting is to clarify how the flow of goods can be guaranteed. France and other EU states have closed their borders with the United Kingdom because of the rapid spread of the new Corona variant. This means that trucks can no longer cross the English Channel.
Due to the Christmas shopping season, large deliveries of medical and care products as a result of the Corona pandemic, and uncertainty about the outcome of the Brexit drama, there has already been truck chaos on the approaches to the English Channel for many days. The port of Dover and the Eurotunnel have been closed since Sunday night.