Dozens of countries in Europe and around the world have halted flights from the United Kingdom, and the French government announced a 48-hour ban on truck drivers using ferry and rail routes from England to France following a potentially highly contagious coronovirus mutation. Christmas lock in London and surrounding areas.
“If nothing changes, we will start to see gaps in the coming days on lettuce, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, citrus fruit,” Sainsbury said in a statement. “We hope the UK and French [governments] May come to a solution that prioritizes the production and immediate passage of food. “
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a press conference on Monday, sought to allay public fears, saying he had spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron and that the two sides were working towards a quick resolution.
He stressed that British supermarket supply chains are “stronger and stronger”, adding that “the vast majority of food and medical supplies are coming and going as usual.”
The industry, which operates frozen and chilled storage facilities and temperature-controlled vehicles, said there was no reason for shoppers to panic, as Britain’s food supply chain was well stocked for the peak holiday period.
“As we learned in March, the biggest reason for the products running on the shelves would be unnecessary and excessive purchases,” said Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Cold Chain Federation. “We urge everyone to play their role and buy only what they really need.”
Jan may get worse
But “urgent agreements” between the governments of the United Kingdom and the European Union were needed if problems were to be avoided in the new year. “An extended period of closed movement will now cause significant problems for supply chains in January,” Brennan said.
That sentiment was echoed by the British Retail Consortium, which represents more than 170 major retailers and thousands of small businesses.
“Retailers stock up on goods ahead of Christmas, which should prevent immediate problems,” said Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium. “However, any prolonged closure of the French border will be a problem as the UK enters before the final week [Brexit] Transition ends [Dec. 31]. “
Britain’s ports were under severe stress even before the spark of the new Coronavirus variant on the border spread.
The United Kingdom left the European Union earlier this year, but has continued to enjoy free trade with the EU market of 450 million people under a transitional arrangement ending on 31 December. Talks on a new agreement to avoid tariffs and quotas on almost half of the UK remained at a foreign trade deadlock over the weekend, and the risk of Brexit would remain high without a trade agreement.
Dover has around 17% of the UK merchandise trade. It handled 2.4 million trucks in 2019, and 1.6 million passed through the nearby Eurotunline under another channel.
Businesses are increasingly concerned that a Brexit deal will not happen, and they are rushing to get the goods into the country before the end of the year. New customs checks and paperwork would significantly delay shipments, while tariffs and quotas would pile on the pain in a “no-deal” scenario.
Toyota harvests plants
The company attributed the UK traffic ban to a growing number of countries and “how long the borders will be closed for an uncertain nature”.
France said on Monday it wanted a new European-wide health protocol that would allow cross-border traffic to resume, while testing truck drivers for the Kovid-19 to restore British business confidence Are calling
“We have our drivers who do not want to go to the UK because of fear that the borders may not be closed,” said French National Road Transport Federation spokesman Vanessa Ibralusia. “This is going to create a problem about the flows that are likely to stop, and therefore lead to the drying up of supplies across the channel before Brexit day.”
– Robert North, Pamela Boykoff, Hannah Jiadi, Sarah Dean, Fannie Bobili, Fannie Wang and Stephanie Hallaz contributed reporting.