Lockdown Pandemic Brexit
Now, in June 2020, we have been locked down with Coronavirus for 3 months already in the UK. Life has changed drastically, in totally unforeseen ways since March 2020. Town and city centres have been totally deserted in the evenings and often during the day, people wearing masks on the street, on public transport, long queues at shops, perspex screens at counters, full face masks for shop assistants and other workers and many shops still shut. There have been few planes in the sky and train timetables have often been drastically cut.
Apart from occasional headlines from various campaigners about chlorinated chicken, hormone stuffed meat and genetically modified crops – also known as “Frankenstein Foods”, that the USA is said to be desperate to send us, very few Brexit News Headlines have been published in the UK, at least by the main stream media. Headlines have all been about Coronavirus and how brilliant the NHS has been.
Yet Brexit is due to happen on 31st December 2020, whether there is any agreement or not. Legislation was passed in January 2020, to ensure that Brexit would take place and that it could not be talked out or delayed if discussions did not take place quickly. In fact, the UK left the EU on 31st January 2020, after the EU Withdrawal Bill was passed on 23 January 2020, although at that point, nothing actually changed, because we then entered a transition period.
At this current moment (June 2020), and right up to 31st December 2020, the UK is in the transition stage between being a full member of the EU and no longer a member at all. The time is meant to allow for negotiating the trade agreement between the UK and the EU. Agreement has not been reached in fact, the talks are considered to be stuck, so a video conference was held between UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnston, and other EU leaders on 15th June 2020, in which they agreed that a new momentum was required and to hold intensified talks over the summer. If no agreement is reached, UK legislation means that the UK would crash out of the EU on 31st December 2020.
Is this a coincidence, that governments knew back in November or December that a pandemic was coming and took action to ensure that nothing could stop Brexit? Of course, depending on your viewpoint, this could be a good or bad thing!
If there is no agreement in place, on 31st December 2020, whether or not talks on a trade agreement with the EU have been completed or even taken place, the UK will leave the EU – the law for that has already been passed and received the Royal Assent. That means that things could end up with no trade agreement with the EU and different trading laws would have to apply. That could mean long lorry queues at the ports and paper documents being reintroduced. That could mean food shortages and shortages of other goods.
Run Out Of
The shops that have been left open – food shops, hardware shops, pharmacies, etc., have been totally brilliant. And many items have been available online, if not in the shops. But not everything. At the start of the lockdown, shops were running out of bread, baby milk and other necessities, including toilet paper. This was said to be due to panic buying, where people bought up more items than they normally used and which the Just In Time (JIT) transport system could not refill fast enough, leaving shortages and empty shelves. Necessities are mostly now available, though many shops have imposed a limit on the amount that can be bought at one time, for instance, 3 cans of beans, or 2 packets of toilet roll at any one shopping trip. But not everything is available. Some items that certain people would consider as necessities are not on the shelves, nor can they be bought online.
This list just includes things that have been noticed as not on the shelves or are not obtainable online:
Bread of certain kinds, eg specialist types
Update June 2023
While most items are now available, there are still certain items that are hard to get, for instance, firm toothbrushes, although there are plenty of medium and soft toothbrushes. Soap also seems to be in short supply and certain handcreams and deodorants. Some of these can be obtained online if not in local shops but not all.
brexit economic consequences