The UK parliament is currently (24th August 2019) in recess (on its summer holiday). It next sits 3rd September 2019, when a great deal of political activity will start.
The whole of the UK as well as its MPs is divided about what to do about Brexit. The Brexit deadline is 31st October 2019. The main options being floated are:
Leave without a deal on 31st October 2019 (no-deal)
Negotiate a new deal and leave on 31st October 2019
Parliament to “take charge” and pass legislation preventing a no-deal Brexit
Government of National Unity to be formed to agree a way forward
There are other options, some of which are variations on those listed above. One of the main issues about agreeing a deal for Brexit is what is called the “backstop”. This concerns Northern Ireland (politically part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland. This is the only land border that the UK has with the European Union. The EU offer includes a backstop option that will prevent a hard border (customs stops and checks) if the transition period for finally agreeing the deal is exceeded or no deal can be finally agreed.
Those who want Brexit do not want the backstop option to be included, as it will require the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU for some time, possibly indefinitely, some fear.
There are others who are concerned about a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland had agreed there would be free movement between North and South.
UK’s Choice Or Not
Up until now, it has been thought that it was solely the UK’s choice as to whether or not to leave the EU, however, the Brexit deadline, 31st October 2019, is fast approaching. For those who wish to either stay in the EU or negotiate a softer divorce, that date may need to be postponed to allow for another referendum or more negotiations.
Would The EU Agree
Shifting the 31st October date again would require EU agreement. Some in the EU are getting tired of the arguments and may not agree to any further extension. Indeed some may be very glad to get rid of the UK!
Hard Brexit 31st October 2019
With those opposed to leaving the EU, or to leaving without an agreement, time is now very short for any action and if the EU refuses to grant an extension, even if they can agree sufficiently to request one, it is currently looking more and more likely that the UK will leave the EU on 31st October 2019 without any agreement. If so, then the time to start preparing for shortages is NOW!
Any parent of small children knows they don’t do “boredom”. If they aren’t kept busy, they will find something to amuse themselves and that can often be what you do not want them to do. They are also very often “picky” with their food and need foods that they will eat.
Surviving Brexit With Babies, Toddlers And Small Children
Hopefully, Brexit will pass off without anyone noticing any difference and you can just play with and feed your children as usual.
If it doesn’t, then preparing ahead of time will save your sanity and make life easier for everyone.
Stock up on any special items you normally feed your child with, including formula (baby milk), rusks, and any foods you know your child likes AND that can be stored with a good long “use by” date. These might include tinned baked beans or spaghetti for older children or tinned soup. Remember to include treats appropriate to your child’s age, such as chocolate buttons and Smarties. They are not only useful as rewards or bribes but if there are problems preparing food, they can stop a child from becoming too hungry. You can also store sliced bread in the freezer, provided it is well wrapped against freezer burn. Frozen sliced bread can be toasted direct from frozen for a quick snack of toast.
Let’s hope no one has to leave home but if you do, a prepared “go” bag, including a wash bag, pyjamas, clean underwear and a change of clothes for each child is useful. Remember nappies and wet wipes for any child using them. Other useful items for each bag include a bottle of water and a snack, such as a chocolate bar (appropriate to age).
Just in case there are power cuts or you have to leave home, then including a game or book or toys in the go bag for each child can save a lot of trouble. Colouring books and crayons or coloured pencils are useful, low tech, easy-carry and cheap items to include. Books are heavier but may be useful for older children. A favourite toy may be vital to remember. Low tech toys are useful if there are power cuts even if you remain at home. You can always remove a few current toys to pack away because by the time October 31st comes around, those toys will seem new again.
At October 31st, the weather in the UK is usually turning colder, even if there are a few days of Indian Summer. Keep some warm clothes on hand in case there are power cuts or lack of warmth or you have to move.
Brexit Survival Journal
Get checklists that will help you survive Brexit and provide space for you to add your own items with the Brexit Survival Journal.
Have you bought heating oil recently? What about petrol or diesel for your car or gas (natural or cylinder)? How much did it cost? Was it different from the last time you bought it?
The Cost of A Barrel Of Oil
Heating oil, petrol, diesel and natural gas are all fossil fuels and while some, including coal, are produced in the UK, most are imported from countries with reserves of oil underground or under the sea. The oil reserves in these countries are used to produce the different kinds of fuel we use, such as heating oil and fuel for cars.
Oil is sold in barrels and charged for in US dollars. This is worldwide (at present, some countries are looking to change this.) That means that this country pays for all imported oil in US dollars. If you have been on holiday to the US, you will know that the amount of dollars you can buy for your sterling varies with the exchange rate. If the exchange rate goes up, you get more dollars for your pound. If the exchange rate goes down you get fewer dollars for your pound. At 4 August 2019, the exchange rate is $1.22. That means you get $1.22 for every pound you exchange. So if you wanted to exchange £100, you would get $122 back, for spending in the US. On 4 of July 2019, the exchange rate was $1.26, so you would have got $126 in exchange for £100. On 20 May 2016, a month before the Brexit referendum, the exchange rate was $1.45, so for that £100 you would have got $145.
How Does That Affect The Cost Of Oil
No matter what the exchange rate is, you still have to pay the same amount for a barrel of oil in US Dollars. The oil producers set these prices. The cost of a barrel of OPEC oil is $63.79 at present, this requires £52.46 to pay for it at an exchange rate of $1.22. If the exchange rate were still at the pre-Brexit referendum value of $1.45, that barrel of oil would cost £44.
Exchange Rates Are Not The Only Factors
Of course not. Oil has to be transported from where it is produced, refined, stored, transported, etc. That all adds to the cost and Brexit has nothing to do with that. Exchange rates vary all the time, anyway. When the Brexit result was announced, the exchange rate dropped considerably and then bounced back again. It has varied quite a bit but has not recovered its pre-referendum value.
Low Exchange Rates Can Be A Benefit
Yes, if you are exporting goods to other countries, then a low exchange rate is beneficial, you can sell more goods because your goods will be priced more cheaply than other similar ones, provided the other country does not impose an import tax.
The country will buy fewer imported goods because they will be more expensive than locally produced ones.
Tourists will be more likely to come to the UK because holidays will be cheaper and British people will be more likely to take staycations because holidays abroad will be more expensive.
Of course, if the Brexit negotiations go well, then the exchange rate is likely to go up. That will make oil cheaper. If the Brexit negotiations stall or there is a no-deal exit, then the pound may well fall further, making the cost of oil etc., higher.
31 October 2019
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnston, says that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019, whether there is a deal or not. There may be import difficulties at ports with a no-deal, making it harder to bring oil into the UK and causing possible short-term shortages. For those with storage tanks running on low, that could mean some cold days in Autumn and winter, especially if there are power outages that mean water and fuel cannot be pumped. Some people may choose to buy their heating oil early, topping up at short intervals leading up to Brexit and also to keep their vehicles topped up with fuel. If you want to be as prepared as possible for what might come with Brexit, then get the Brexit Survival Journal and develop your own lists of what to stock up on, including heating well ahead of Brexit.
NOTE: This article does NOT provide financial advice. You must do your own investigations before deciding whether or not to buy heating oil or any other product and when you should buy it.
This timeline of events will be updated through to the Brexit date of 31st October 2019 and beyond.
Politics Of Brexit
24 September 2019 – Not Lawful
The UK’s Supreme Court has ruled unanimously (11 Judges) that the decision to suspend Parliament was not lawful and that the prorogation was therefore null and void. The Speaker to the House of Commons, John Bercow, has called on Parliament to reconvene at 11.30am on Wednesday 25th September 2019.
11 September 2019 – Not Lawful
The Scottish Appeal Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnston’s decision to prorogue (suspend) Parliament for 5 weeks until 14 October 2019 was not lawful. The UK Supreme Court is due to hear arguments on this next week, so no final decision or instruction on any action to be taken will happen before then.
Current Options And Actions Being Considered at 9 Sep 2019
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow announced in Parliament, on the afternoon of 9th September 2019, that he is standing down, no later than 31st October 2019, unless a General Election is called before that date.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnston is thought likely to call for a vote on a General Election today, 9 September 2019. He needs two thirds of MPs to vote for this. It is considered likely to FAIL, as MPs do not wish to risk the UK leaving the EU by default at 31st October, if they are in the middle of an election campaign.
Parliament is likely to be prorogued (suspended) after any failed election vote and will not sit again until 14th October 2019, on which day, the business of the House will be “The Queen’s Speech” (written by the government) which lays out the work to be done by Parliament in the coming session. During prorogation, MPs will not be able to sit in the House of Commons nor will there be any debates. It is possible that informal debates will take place elsewhere.
The emergency bill passed by Parliament to compel the Prime Minister to seek a 3 month delay in the UK’s departure from Europe (Brexit) if no deal has been struck by 19th October should become law today and receive the Queen’s assent. (The Queen is a constitutional Monarch, which means she is advised by the Government and Parliament on what laws should be passed.) If the Prime Minister refuses to request an extension after the October 19th deadline, he could theoretically, go to jail.
The EU has to OFFER an extension to the Brexit date, if they do not offer an extension, then the UK leaves without a deal on 31st October 2019 anyway.
France has said that they may vote against offering a Brexit extension and the government has suggested that this is one way forward for them, which would avoid the Prime Minister having to request an extension, which he has said he will not.
One of the barriers to agreeing a deal with the EU is the border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (Ireland) on the island of Ireland. This border is the only land border between the UK and the EU. The Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland, made this an open border with no barriers to trade or passage of people. If the UK leaves the EU, there may need to be border crossing points again. This would break the Good Friday Agreement and could lead to the return of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. One option would be instead, to have the border down the Irish Sea (the stretch of water between the island of Ireland and Britain), leaving the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland as it is. This however, would not be acceptable to the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, who would argue that this would be treating Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the UK. The Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnston is discussing this with the Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, today, 9th September 2019.
2 September 2019
The Prime Minister is now thought likely to call a General Election. Parliament returns from its summer break tomorrow, 3rd September 2019 and it is considered likely that a General Election will be called. This will require a two thirds majority of MPs agreeing to an election. Many will be wary of agreeing only to find that the election is held over 31st October 2019, allowing a no-deal Brexit by default. If an election is agreed, it is likely to be on 14 October 2019, before the Brexit deadline.
News has just been issued that the government is to ask the Queen to suspend parliament from a few days after it returns from its summer recess until 14 October 2019. The given reason is to allow the government to prepare a Queen’s Speech which sets out what the government will do in the coming session. MPs who are opposed to a no-deal Brexit are saying this is anti-democratic as it does not allow MPs to fulfil their democratic part in the process of dealing with Brexit.
WATCH THIS SPACE!
27 August 2017
Some of the Members of Parliament who are opposed to a no-deal Brexit met to discuss how they could prevent the UK crashing out of Europe without a deal. The meeting was fairly short and consensus appears to be that they will attempt to bring legislation before Parliament to force the government to request a further extension to the Brexit exit date of 31st October 2019. Other options they discussed included forcing a “vote of no confidence” in the Government and forming a government of national unity with representatives from all parties. Those options appear to be left in reserve.
Government Preparations For Brexit
On Sunday 18 August 2019, the Sunday Times newspaper published excerpts from leaked government documents, codenamed Operation Yellowhammer, that are said to set out likely problems that could happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit. These include shortages of food, fuel and medicine, 3 months of chaos at ports and the possible return of a hard border in Northern Ireland. It now appears that there are two further disaster-scenario papers, code named Black Swan and Kingfisher which have not been published.
A Little Bit Of Bread And No Cheese
The yellowhammer is a bird that is widespread in Europe and Asia. Its song sounds like the phrase, a little bit of bread and no cheese. Was this code name just a coincidence?
Government Denial that “Yellowhammer” is Relevant
The new government formed under Prime Minister Boris Johnston says that this report is an old one, prepared for the previous government and that this government is working to ensure no chaos in the event of no-deal.
Sterling Exchange Rate September 2019
At midday on 3 September 2019, the sterling to US Dollar exchange rate is at 1.20 and with the Euro, stands at 1.10.
The pound to US Dollar exchange rate has started out the month of September at 1.21 and the Sterling to Euro exchange rate is at 1.1 on the news of a possible General Election.
Sterling Exchange Rate August 2019
The Sterling to US dollar exchange rate started July 2019 at 1.26, dropping to 1.22 by 31 July. It was said that this was the worst month for the pound since October 2016. On 1 August 2019, the exchange rate dropped to 1.21, a 2 year low, as the Bank of England kept the interest rate steady at 0.75%, stating that there was a 33% chance of a negative economic growth rate by the start of 2020, which could signal the start of a recession. By 4 August 2019, the pound had recovered slightly to 1.22.
On 9 August 2019, The Office For National Statistics (ONS) said that the UK economy had shrunk in Quarter 2 of 2019 (April to June). Sterling fell against both the US Dollar and the Euro, to $1.2097 and €1.0794. This has provoked fears that the UK could be on the verge of a recession. This is defined as a contracting economy in two consecutive quarters. One of the reasons is thought to be that many firms stocked up ahead of the initial Brexit date (29th March 2019) and did not need to buy any further stocks and that uncertainty has slowed spending.
On 19 August 2019, the pound sterling against the US dollar exchange rate is $1.21.
If you want to build up a stock of foods and other items, in case of problems at 31st October 2019, then you may find the Brexit Survival Journal useful for providing ideas on areas to check, items to stock and space to record your own information.
Boris Johnson Becomes Prime Minister
Wednesday 24 July 2019. Says Brexit will take place on 31st October 2019, deal or no deal and that the Irish backstop must be removed for a deal to take place. The EU has said that the backstop must remain.
Theresa May Resigns As Prime Minister
She tendered her resignation to H M The Queen, 24 July 2019
Parliament Indicative Votes
Indicative votes are where MPs vote to test the will of the House of Commons on a single issue by voting on a series of options on that issue. Votes were held on 27 March 2019 and a second round of votes on 1 April 2019.There was no majority for any of the options.
Article 50 Triggered
Article 50 – legislation that formally notified the EU that Britain would leave – was triggered on 29 March 2017. This led to the first leaving date of end of March 2019 – two years after Article 50 became law and was delivered to the EU. The leaving date was extended twice, finally to 31 October 2019.
Theresa May Elected As Prime Minister
13 July 2016, after being elected leader of the ruling Conservative Party
Prime Minister David Cameron Resigns
Friday 24 June 2016.
Referendum On Membership Of The EU
Thursday 23 June 2016. Britain voted 51.9% to 48.1% to LEAVE the EU, 43 years after joining it.
Britain Joined The EU
1 January 1973. (It was known as the EEC at that time – the European Economic Community.)
OK, while you can last about 3 weeks or so without any food, no one is suggesting a total lack of food in the UK following Brexit. There may, however, be shortages of certain foods at certain times, either due to import difficulties. or if fuel is in short supply, so supplies can’t get to certain areas.
Many of the fresh vegetables we eat in the UK are imported: oranges, fruits and veg out of season, such as tomatoes, lettuce, courgettes and soft fruit. Maybe you don’t eat that kind of food?
Perhaps you prefer fish and chips? Most UK potatoes are home grown, so potatoes should continue to be available, provided transport is available. The fish might be a different matter.
Hopefully, all foods we currently have will still be available after Brexit, even if takeaways are having difficulties, however, it is possible there will be some shortages and delays while trading terms are finalised. It would certainly be wise to stock up on basic foods, especially those that require little or no cooking and that can last in a store cupboard for a good while, provided that they are foods you would normally eat.
This is a staple item of many people’s diet in the UK but all the beans have to be imported because they do not grow in the UK. Baked beans store well, most kids will eat them and they are nourishing, having a fair amount of protein and fibre and also vitamins and minerals. Top them with some grated cheese and serve on toast and you have a hearty lunch. If the power is out, they can be eaten cold, so if you like baked beans, then stock up on them ahead of Brexit.
Other Tinned and Packet Staples
If you’re stocking up on foods that your family likes to eat and that are easily stored and cooked or heated, check up on your stocks of spaghetti in tomato sauce, soups, tinned ham, canned peas, pasta and ready made curry and tomato sauces.
Most of the fish that ends up in cans: sardines, tuna, pilchards and most salmon etc is imported. If you like canned fish, then building up your stocks would be a wise move.
Flavourings, Spices And Sauces
HP sauce, a British staple is produced in the Netherlands. While Heinz tomato ketchup is made in the UK, many ingredients for sauces, flavourings and canned or packet ready -meals may be imported. Table salt is mostly produced in the UK but pepper is imported.
Cold And No-Cook Foods
Nuts, nut butters, dried fruit and porridge oats are all handy storage items and can be eaten without any cooking. Nuts and nut butters, especially provide protein and healthy fats. Dried fruit contains iron. Oats, chopped nuts and dried fruit make a handy muesli, together with some sugar if you need it. Nut butters spread beautifully on bread, soda bread or crackers.
If you live near the countryside or have a large garden, you may be able to add some foraged items to your diet, if fresh foods are running low. Blackberries and plums can often be found growing wild, ready for picking in the autumn. Don’t forage near roads because of pollution. Don’t forage if you don’t know what you are picking. Some wild plants can be fatal.
For most people, staying at home is the easiest and safest option in troubled times and it is assumed that this is where you will be.
If you want to stay within your home and not have to go outside to get supplies, you will need to make sure you have enough stuff to last you for about 3 weeks at least, possibly even 6 weeks. You may not use your emergency supplies all the time, you may just need to call on them when there are shortages and then stock them back up again when fresh supplies come in. But isn’t it good to know that you will be able to feed yourself and your family and have some comforts if necessary?
Hopefully, any troubles will be over and supplies will be back in local stores again, within about 6 weeks, though there may be shortages and some items may take a lot longer before supplies are available whenever you want them.
Your first priority will be shelter. But with Brexit, hopefully, this will be your own home and with any luck you will have your normal utilities, water, electricity and a cooking stove.
If you need to move out of your home, other preparations will be needed ahead of time, this is dealt with later.
Staying in your own home is the best bet in most cases but you will need to prepare in case any of the utilities (like water, gas and electricity) are interrupted, as well as store food that your family can eat: and store drinking water.
Think of how you could manage to cook if the power goes down, or the gas or fuel are delayed. If you have only electricity for cooking, for instance, you will need to think of another way of being able to cook. Maybe you have a coal fire? Maybe you need to buy a portable camping stove? Think about what you need to DO in order to be able to cook. Perhaps you need to stockpile some more gas cylinders or more coal?
What is the Plan……………………………………………………………………………….
When will you do this? ……………………………………………………………………….
What is the Budget? ………………………………………………………………………….
There is a journal available with check sheets that you can fill in and use to save recipes and stuff ahead of time. Knowing what’s important allows you to budget for any expenditure and find a place to store stuff, keep it fresh and rotated and keep everyone up to date on the plan and how to work it.
Having A Cunning Plan
When an emergency is announced, the shops are besieged, everyone runs round like a nest of ants that has been dug up, saucepans or bathtubs of water are stored and very few eat properly. A few days later the water is emptied out, the bread is stale and everyone goes back to their ordinary lives, apart from the few who got caught out and those who were really prepared.
Which Do You Want To Be?
The prepared person has a plan that everyone knows, has stores of food that they and their family like and will eat, that can be used if necessary and that will not be wasted if they are not needed just now. They have clean water, medical supplies, ways to keep their pets safe, a working car and a safe home to go to if they have to leave.
The unprepared person ends up cold, hungry, sitting in the dark or maybe a local community hall, without their pets or medications and no clean clothes.
You need a plan that will:
● Help you keep in touch;
● Keep you sheltered;
● Keep you fed and watered;
● Keep your pets safe;
● Keep your transport working where possible; and,
● Keep your medications current and more……
● No matter whether you voted leave or remain;
● No matter whether you want “Leave Means Leave;
● No matter whether you want a second referendum; or
● Leave now without a deal
You Need To Prepare!
What Is Brexit
The United Kingdom split almost 50:50 in the 2016 referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union or stay. There was a small majority in favour of leaving. There has also been a lot of acrimonious debate since. That means that whatever happens with Brexit, almost half the country is going to be disappointed with what happens, whatever it is. There is a brexit timeline available to check if you want.
What Does Brexit Mean
BRitish EXIT: the term Brexit has been coined to stand for BRitish EXIt from the European Union, the community it has been a part of for 47 years.
While the government is putting billions of pounds into preparing for Brexit, it is possible that not everything will be covered, especially if the exit is a no-deal scenario. There will be people upset with the situation, whatever happens on 31st October 2019, the Prime Minister’s proposed EU departure date, When people are upset with politics, difficulties and commotion can happen and that can lead to shortages of food,medications and fuel, political disturbances and power cuts even if only in small areas. If you are in one of those areas, life may become uncomfortable for a while. Economically, financial exchange rates can also change, affecting the prices of imported goods, especially oil.
This site is NOT about the Brexit debate. It is not taking sides one way or the other. It provides good plain commonsense on making preparations for keeping yourself and your family fed, warm and sheltered for a short period after any final Brexit decision (one way or the other). Whether the UK leaves or stays in the EU, there may be some upheavals in some areas. If it leaves, there may be shortages of items that are imported or that need to be moved around the country.
Emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime – a power station going down, a flood, a storm, blizzard, wildfire. Any or all of these might make life hard for a while.
Even if you live in the calmest, safest part of the world, a tree can fall, lightning can strike, your electrical power can go down, such as the huge power outages in England and Wales on 9 August 2019, when two power suppliers lost power simultaneously, a strike or a problem elsewhere can affect supplies to your local shops. It doesn’t have to be Brexit related. Life is a risk. In August 2019 a dam threatened to burst in the Midlands area of the UK and many residents had to be evacuated from their homes at very short notice.
Even without Brexit, it’s important to plan to make yourself and your family self-reliant in the event of a major disaster. In a time of crisis, you don’t want to have to go cold, go hungry, scramble to stay alive, have to make do without your medications, or to have to depend on others to help you out.
When disasters occur, normal routine is totally thrown out even if only in a small area. If that area is where you live, then there may be widespread shortages. Not just food but also power, water and medication.
Before a disaster strikes, such as a storm or hurricane, there may be news flashes to let people know it’s coming. Then you’ll see pictures of empty shelves in the shops because people who didn’t plan ahead rush out in an effort to take care of themselves and their loved ones. If imports and transport of goods are limited, then what is sent to the shops my be prioritised, for instance food may be seen as more important than cleaning items.
That mad rush will only result in a few days’ worth of supplies and these may not stay fresh. And long term power outages ( like after major hurricanes), or storm damage can make it difficult for people and supplies to get out or in to affected areas.
Short Term Emergency
A short-term emergency disrupts normal life temporarily. It could be a flash flood, a storm, a forest fire, or an uncertain political situation. Any of these could lead to food shortages, maybe a need for shelter and a lack of other necessities, such as clean water, warmth and electricity.
Any of these could happen at any time and if you want to survive as comfortably as possible, you need to know exactly what to do if disaster hits and where to go if your home isn’t safe or habitable. It’s always useful to be ready for whatever happens.
You can prepare for a bad few days or weeks by making sure you have emergency food and household supplies, such as cleaning items, available in your home in case supply lines are disrupted. You could also have emergency bags ready and waiting with at least three days’ worth of food, water, clothing and the means to provide or make a temporary shelter, in case you need to leave temporarily.
Not For Preppers
This is NOT a prepper’s site, as is normally thought of; it is NOT helping you prepare for the complete end of civilisation as we know it, however, it is certainly a preparation site, getting ready for disruption. There is a workbook available, related to this site, that will help you prepare for a short disruption where things will eventually get back to normal. It contains lists of items you may wish to stock up on plus space for you to add your own items to obtain. It also contains some easy emergency recipes and about 20 pages for you to add in your own easy cook / no cook recipes. The journal also prompts you to consider your options for cooking, warmth and fuel. Preparing ahead of time can help you survive more comfortably and means you should not need to go outside at times when things may be disturbed. Most emergencies arrive quickly but they also don’t happen that often, so you get time to prepare for something happening (even if you won’t always know what).. Let’s get started.
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