back to article Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing

As the UK continues to fret over dire warnings of supermarket shelves emptying as a side effect of Brexit, North Korea has a solution for the alleged impending crisis. Assuming trade deals will be as straightforward as politicos have promised, containers full of delicious edible clothes could be headed to Blighty, filling both …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brexit

    Let them eat kecks!!!

    1. HaydnH

      Re: Brexit

      We can indeed have our kecks and eat them to!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit

      It's not Brexit, we're justing tackling the obesity epidemic!

      And being environmentally friendly! Badger and fox are much more environmentally friendly than that farm produced beef and pork and once it's covered in brown sauce and you've built up an appetite over a few days, you barely even notice the difference. At least until the foxes and badgers run out...

      1. Jedit

        "Badger and fox are much more environmentally friendly ..."

        Even more environmentally friendly is eating the rich. It also has the side benefit of addressing many of the problems which caused Brexit.

        1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

          Re: "Badger and fox are much more environmentally friendly ..."

          It's not healthy, getting that much asshole in your diet....

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Brexit

        Fox is rank. You really don't want to eat Fox. Oh, you meant the animal. No, you don't want to eat that either.

        Owen Patterson was on Today this morning, talking bollocks as usual. This time he was also being very dense, declaring the utter insanity of yesterday's amendments a triumph. I can see why the badgers found it so easy to move the goalposts when he was in charge of killing them.

  2. H in The Hague

    Import could be tricky

    Hmmm, food and textiles tend to be the most difficult items when negotiating trade treaties - and these items come under both categories. Could take a while to sort out. (And under WTO rules if you let stuff in from one country without tariffs/checks then that has to apply to all stuff from all countries. So no control. Admittedly that's somewhat of a simplification of a v complex issue.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Import could be tricky

      There is still the Commonwealth. Many produce food. Also a few make textiles. That should not take much effort to fix.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the Commonwealth. Many produce food. Also a few make textiles.

        E.g. New Zealand is famous for a very popular line of self-mobile food products encased in a raw texile layer.

        Baa!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the Commonwealth. Many produce food. Also a few make textiles.

          But said mobile food platforms are also very popular with the Australians and the Welsh. The demand will drive up prices and leave even less ugly ones for the South Africans.

          Plus everyone knows Kiwis keep the most beautiful ones....

          1. don't you hate it when you lose your account

            How I explain Brexit to South Africans

            Been working over here quite a while now. Most people are totally confused by Brexit and what’s going on back home, so this is how I explain the impasse.

            A bunch of kids have been playing football together for years. One day they meet up and Billy GreatBritain says he’s not happy with the rules and wants them changed. So the other 27 kids go off and have a long chat (except the Spanish kid who’s having a sleep after lunch). After much discussion (and a brief farting contest) they go back to Billy GreatBritain and say ‘No’. We’ve played by these rules for years and even stick to them when we play away against Johnny USA or any other of the international kids.

            Of course Billy GreatBritain is not happy with this and throws a hissy fit (imagine spoiled brat whose never been told to say please or thank you). After much foot stamping Billy GreatBritain declares ‘if you don’t do as I say, I’ll take my ball home’. So they wake up the Spanish kid and go for another chat. After reaching a consensus they tell Billy GreatBritain, ‘Fine take your ball home because we own the friging stadium and we have shit load of balls’.

            When they ask what a no deal Brexit would mean; I tell them Billy GreatBritain would have to stay home and play with his own balls.

            1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

              How I explain Brexit to children

              For many years, 27 children play together and build a tower out of Lego. Then one child decides he wants to leave and take just the blue bricks with him.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: How I explain Brexit to children

                but he did pay for the blue ones and half the red ones and everyone wants to use the blue ones in their buildings leaving him the grey ones that are mis shapen and dont fit with others to use

              2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                  Re: How I explain Brexit to children

                  I blame the bloody awful Warsaw Concerto.

                  1. don't you hate it when you lose your account
                    Headmaster

                    Re: How I explain Brexit to children

                    They removed my comment defending our posts!!! Would complain to my MP but all things considered don't think that'll be much use. Will try and find out why, very interested to know who and what their justification was? Maybe it was Billy GreatBritain himself!!!

                    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                      Re: How I explain Brexit to children

                      Plus, my awesome Spike Milligan reference now looks like a massive non sequitur.

              3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

                Re: How I explain Brexit to children

                "A Modest Proposal"

              4. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Meh

                Re: How I explain Brexit to children

                "he wants to leave and take just the blue bricks with him."

                But (it seems to me) many of his blue bricks were re-painted and given to others without his consent. And the ones 'in charge' are doing what THEY want without regards to what HE wants. [it's how I see Brexit from across the pond]. The simplistic analogy falls apart in the face of what _really_ happens.

                and edible clothing... gives new meaning to "eat my shorts"

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: the Commonwealth. Many produce food. Also a few make textiles.

            Jones 'the sheep' might disagree

            1. Huw D Silver badge

              Re: the Commonwealth. Many produce food. Also a few make textiles.

              "You see that bridge out there? Built it myself, hand laid every stone, and it's the best bridge over the river in 20 miles! But do they call me "Jones the Bridge"? No! And you see that house over there? I built that, took me two months, through rain, sleet and scorching weather, but do they call me "Jones the House"? No! And you see that farm over there? I run that, providing some of the best local produce in the county! But do they call me "Jones the Farm"? No!"

              "but you fuck one sheep..."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Import could be tricky

        But haven't we been telling all those Commonwealth citizens that they have to leave? Is this the Brexiters plan, kick out the Commonwealth citizens so that they can go back to the countries they left as kids and grow food for us?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Import could be tricky

          Maybe they don't have to go back at all? Considering the nature of the government in North Korea, the proteins and other nutrients in the fabrics could be ... how to explain ... those North Korean HR-people making better use of Human Resources running their gobs too much!?

          Just add some extra curry and its good.

      3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: Import could be tricky

        "There is still the Commonwealth. Many produce food. "

        Since 2010 or so the UK has been making it harder for kiwis to come to work and live in the UK. 2 year visas instead of 5, requiring sponsorship etc.

        Much like India and Pakistan, they are also going to use any new trading negotiation to get other concessions, which will almost certainly involve allowing more migration to the UK.

        With the continuing negotiation of brexit continues between the various factions: euroskeptic conservatives and conservatives, conservatives and reality, government and parliament and eventually actual negotiations with the EU, the UK has shown it can't make a deal to save it's life. The conversation in the national press seems to indicate that they don't even get what kind of negotiation this is.

        The UK is choosing to leave one of the two biggest trade blocs in the world, at a time when everyone else is clamoring to get in to one. The knives are out at the WTO, and while the EU is voting with the UK, most of the commonwealth isn't. Certainly the rest of the world isn't.

        At least parliament has ruled out no deal, and labour FINALLY took a position that differentiated themselves from the government. A customs union would sort the Irish border question without flipping the DUP out, and prevent goods shortages and other such short term mayhem.

        Then spending a decade or two making trade agreements (without a hard deadline) that start when the UK leaves the CU, then plan to leave the CU over a 2-5 year transition period.

        "That should not take much effort to fix."

        I've never negotiated a trade deal. But I do get to read parts of them, and then get to explain the reasoning why. They can be extremely complex, their reasoning is hidden behind the decisions (but they do publish that too) and the devil is very much in the details. How, where and when are goods checked can by itself take years to agree.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Import could be tricky

          At least parliament has ruled out no deal

          Erm, no it hasn't. Parliament has issued a non-binding advisory request to the government that they don't leave without a deal, but no deal remains the legal default position.

          Sorry, but that is the fact. The Balls (Cooper) amendment would have ruled out no deal until the ned of the year, but that amendment was rejected. Spellman was non-binding, and so advisory in nature rather than statutory.

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: Import could be tricky

            Yeah, but as we all know, advisory is legally binding and is the will of the people.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Import could be tricky

              @Aladdin Sane

              "Yeah, but as we all know, advisory is legally binding and is the will of the people."

              I am sure the flexible remainers would agree with that. Anything to have their way regardless of how it stands. Pretty much the EU way it seems.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Import could be tricky

      "Hmmm, food and textiles tend to be the most difficult items when negotiating trade treaties - and these items come under both categories."

      OTOH you are allowed to wear clothes when you pass through a border so frequent fliers should know where their next meal came from.

  3. katrinab Silver badge
    Joke

    Everything is OK

    Katrina's Food Services Ltd has put in a bid food handling.

    I've copied the T&C from a Ferry Company called Seaborne Freight and put them on a Freehosting.com hosted website.

    I don't currently have any assets other than the £35m I received from the government, but I hope to have everything ready by 28th March.

    To ensure the fastest possible implementation of the plan, I have recruited myself as director of the company on a £35m joining bonus. This market-leading remuneration package will ensure I am sufficiently motivated to deliver what is needed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am sufficiently motivated to deliver

      correction: I am sufficiently motivated to depart at T minus enough T to have moved the assets to greener pastures (all legal and legit, mind you!!!!!!)

  4. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Happy

    Gotta love El Reg

    ... brexit-bating knowing that the comments section will explode!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gotta love El Reg

      You worried ElReg's high standards are slipping?

      I just re-checked and the Sun and the Mirror still can't touch ElReg at full stretch so every thing's okay...

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Gotta love El Reg

        No! Loving every minute, mate!

      2. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Gotta love El Reg @AC

        You just checked The Sun and The Mirror?

        Have a beer for taking one for the team ----->

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Gotta love El Reg @AC

          You should see the Mail today: the headline is "Theresa's Triumph!" They're celebrating her ability to support an amendment which forces her to go back to Brussels to change something which she spent a month telling everyone couldn't be changed. Not only did she fail to get a deal which could satisfy Parliament, she has now become a hypocrite and denounced her own work. And just when you'd think the insanity couldn't get any more convoluted, the Daily Fuckwitted Mail declares it all a triumph.

          Oh, what times we are living in. I'm glad I don't have any grandchildren I'll have to explain this to one day.

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: Gotta love El Reg @AC

            You should see the Mail today: the headline is "Theresa's Triumph!"

            Well, it's possible she's got a motorcycle stashed away somewhere. Or some underwear. And she's definitely got people reminding her she's mortal.

          2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: Gotta love El Reg @AC

            "Not only did she fail to get a deal which could satisfy Parliament, she has now become a hypocrite and denounced her own work."

            Don't forget Parliament has no only voted no to her current deal, but has also said she can't take no deal either.

            So the PM needs either a new deal, or to revoke A50. Or take no deal, and give Parliament the finger.

            1. Old Tom

              Re: Gotta love El Reg @AC

              "but has also said she can't take no deal either."

              No, they've said they don't want to leave with no deal; they haven't actually barred it.

            2. Rupert Fiennes Silver badge

              Re: Gotta love El Reg @AC

              Actually not true. The only non-binding attempt to rule out no-deal Brexit failed.

              1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                Re: Gotta love El Reg @AC

                You can't "rule out" no-deal. That's the default situation if/when nothing else is agreed

    2. A. Coatsworth
      Pint

      Re: Gotta love El Reg

      To be frank, I've avidly read the comments for most Brexit-related articles here [1], and the discussions tend to be fairly civilized. A lot more than I'd expect from any random Internet forum. Not sure if it's because a stern censorship by the site (I doubt it) or because the type of people who comment here is on average NOT the same that comments in a tabloid page.

      No matter the reason, this is one of the few fora I actually visit, because I know it seldom reach any toxic levels.

      [1] I'm on the other side of the Atlantic, and have no real ties to the UK, I just am very interested in the topic

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Gotta love El Reg

        Ummmm. Errr.. your mamma! :-)

        The moderation here is very permissive - I think it's out of respect for that that is part of the reason that the majority of commenters (apart from me of course!) are civil.

        cheers!

  5. James O'Shea

    Ahh...

    From the other side of the Atlantic... Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty'? Really? Will Brexit mean that the EU won't take the UK's cash in return for goods? Really? Even if they do something so monumentally _stupid_ (and a lot of them are French, so they might...) how will that stop the UK from buying elsewhere? Last I looked Canada, the US, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and even Australia export food (stretching it a little for Oz...) and would be _happy_ (except maybe for Oz...) to take the UK's cash. How would the EU be able to block them. Further, again when last I looked there were (shock! horror!) farms in the UK Seriously, this appears to be utter bollocks to me.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Ahh...

      From the other side of the Atlantic... Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty'?

      Some people are, yes. In practice I doubt it will quite that bad - a few sections of some shelves (fresh fruit and some veg mainly) might start looking a bit sparse but I don't think anyone is at risk of starving.

      Will Brexit mean that the EU won't take the UK's cash in return for goods? Really?

      It's not about money. It's about the bureaucracy that international trade requires. You can't just rock up to Portsmouth docks with a ship full of bananas and expect to unload them. They will need to be inspected. There will be import duty to pay. A hundred-and-one forms to be signed. The great thing about the EU was it has agreements in place to streamline this stuff. Importing goes fairly quickly even for stuff coming from outside the EU because everyone knows the EU's processes.

      From March 29th as it currently stands no-one is going to know what to do when a cargo hold of bananas turns up. And if by some miracle a process is in place it sounds like it'll be very paper based and inefficient due to a lack of software.

      Will our shops run out of stuff to sell? Highly unlikely. But some stuff is going to become a bit more expensive and/or become a little harder to find.

      1. MJB7 Bronze badge

        Re: Ahh...

        In addition, the checks will create horrendous queues of lorries. I live near the Swiss-German border, and there are lorries queued up on on the motorway on Saturday waiting to get in to Switzerland on Monday.

        As well as being tedious for the lorry drivers, the equivalent queues are likely to tie up a significant fraction of the lorry stock involved in cross-channel transport - and there aren't a huge number of spare lorries available to fill that gap. Those lorries in the queue obviously aren't actually shifting stuff - so the amount of stuff that can be imported will go down.

        When there starts to be a little bit less of something in the shops, there will be panic buying, and yes, there will be bare supermarket shelves.

        Obviously this can be sorted out over a few months, but April is looking like a really good month not to be in the UK!

        1. O RLY

          Re: Ahh...

          The weather in Blighty in April is another compelling reason to be somewhere else, too...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: some stuff is going to become a bit more expensive

        I wouldn't say that 50% price increase for butter over the last year is "a bit more". Granted, some of it is because apparently Chinese just fell for our butter, German butter, French butter, any butter, which drives the prices up, but some of this 50% is the pre-brexit tremors :(

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: some stuff is going to become a bit more expensive

          For butter, this may be pointer - dated 12 July 2016

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36764592

          Caused by Mid 2016 being a low point in the cost of milk

          Milk Price showing farmer are getting barely more than 5 years ago but there has been a wide variation in between.

          http://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/market-information/milk-prices-contracts/farmgate-prices/uk,-gb-and-ni-farmgate-prices/

          UK & EU Dairy Spot Price history. They match.

          http://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/market-information/milk-prices-contracts/wholesale-prices/uk-wholesale-prices/

          http://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/market-information/milk-prices-contracts/wholesale-prices/eu-wholesale-prices/

          To me this seems to be a simple supply & demand problem over the last few years. Dairy herds can be turned into meat pies almost overnight when the price drops, while adding new head count takes around 2 years. Low production & price goes up > farmers begin breeding new dairy animals to take advantage of price (long delay) > then there's a sudden increase in production and the price crashes > more meat pies > rinse repeat.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: some stuff is going to become a bit more expensive

            The French had a butter shortage last year, due to a refusal of their retailers to sell butter ant a higher price. Source: From Our Own Correspondent, BBC Radio 4. The price had gone up due to greater demand for French dairy from the Chinese, possibly due to an earlier scandel around Chinese produced dairy products, specifically baby formula milk. If you drive through Brittany there's a massive Chinese-built milk processing plant.

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: some stuff is going to become a bit more expensive

          Also note the pound's drop in value, which means a 50% price increase is really only about 25% in real terms - the rest is just a manifestation of the pay cut that everyone in the country has already taken, effective immediately after the referendum.

      3. Rupert Fiennes Silver badge

        Re: Ahh...

        Not quite. The Withdrawal Bill that passed the Commons last year basically copies EU law into British law, so all the standards etc are exactly the same on March 30 as they were on March 29. It's just that EU imports (about 30% of the food total) which would have required no inspections might then require them. But there's nothing that says the government *has* to do this.

        It's all a bit silly to pretend we're going to starve....

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ahh...

        It's not about money. It's about the bureaucracy that international trade requires. You can't just rock up to Portsmouth docks with a ship full of bananas and expect to unload them. They will need to be inspected. There will be import duty to pay. A hundred-and-one forms to be signed. The great thing about the EU was it has agreements in place to streamline this stuff. Importing goes fairly quickly even for stuff coming from outside the EU because everyone knows the EU's processes.

        From March 29th as it currently stands no-one is going to know what to do when a cargo hold of bananas turns up. And if by some miracle a process is in place it sounds like it'll be very paper based and inefficient due to a lack of software.

        So what you're saying is that there is an existing process for importing food into the UK, that is supported by Customs & Excise's IT systems; is supported by the dockyard IT systems; is supported by the hauliers, importers & exporters' IT systems; but come 29th March that will all be abandoned and they'll go back to paper?

        Why would they do that? Please don't say 'Brexit', because those systems already work for trade with non-EU countries.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahh...

      Read up on how produce gets into the UK before passing judgement.

      A large amount of produce comes in via Europe on trucks. (Even the stuff from outside the EU comes in via the Netherlands etc. )

      This is possible because its just a boatride over the channel.

      The problem will arise if they have to start checking shipments.

      They can't queue up quite like they do on your Mexican border.

      Do keep up.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Ahh...

        "The problem will arise if they have to start checking shipments."

        Two points:

        If we are struggling with our supply of food, why would we go out of our way to prevent food that we know is fine crossing our border?

        Only 2% of non-EU consignments are checked currently. The "every crate will have to be opened" is an intentional lie that you've been sold and seemingly bought.

        Do keep up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ahh...

          @disgustedoftunbridgewells

          'Only 2% of non-EU consignments are checked currently. The "every crate will have to be opened" is an intentional lie that you've been sold and seemingly bought.'

          You seemed to have missed the "if" in the quoted sentence. I'm not surprised. Given the tone of your post, did you fall for the lies about MEEEELLIONs of Turks heading to the UK and a decade of austerity magically ending with £350MEEEEELLION a week available to spend?

          Me? I've no need to keep up any more. I'm flying out next month with no return ticket booked. Enjoy your Brexit.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahh...

      while I don't think the shelve will be "empty" (and I do come from one of those countries which had shops with empty shelves), I would like to point out that you roll out a list of countries which happen to be somewhat ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS FUCKING WORLD, unlike Poland, Spain, France and the other usual suspects that supply fresh (well, fresh-looking) veggies for Tesco and Asda. Yeah, we do get British apples which happen to be more expensive than those shipped from other EU countries. We also get bananas from across the world, hurrah. Take a guess, will they be cheaper when we break free from those evil EU clutches, or more expensive, as our purchasing power, ex-EU, is significantly lower?

      I suppose we can always follow the historical Frenchies' advice (let them eat cake)...

      1. Knewbie

        Re: Ahh...

        Morocco. Tunisia. Anything on the Atlantic coast (that thing just under the Manche, but closer than the US)

      2. Rupert Fiennes Silver badge

        Re: Ahh...

        I think you'll find we have plenty of purchasing power: 65 million customers of it.

        However, leaving the EU means we don't have to impose all those high tariffs on foodstuffs (11% atm).

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Ahh...

          However, leaving the EU means we don't have to impose all those high tariffs on foodstuffs (11% atm).

          An average of 11%, which can be from 4%-40% depending on what your importing.

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Ahh...

          65 million is less that 500 million.

          As for tariffs, you neglect to mention the full picture:

          From: https://fullfact.org/economy/post-brexit-trade-tariffs/:

          It’s correct that the UK would be able to choose what tariffs it put on imports from other countries, after it left the EU customs union.

          The UK wouldn’t have a completely free hand to do this. It would have to apply the same rates to all other WTO members, except where it has a free trade agreement or is giving preferences to developing countries.

          It would also have to keep those tariffs within limits agreed in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

          And we wouldn’t have a choice about what tariffs were put on our exports.

          [ ... ]

          The EU customs union removes tariff barriers between its members, negotiates Free Trade deals on behalf of all of them, and imposes a Common External Tariff on anyone it doesn't have a trade deal with.

          The EU also tries to eliminate other barriers to free trade among its members, like non-tariff barriers, and there’s a question about whether the UK will have the same influence over these things once it leaves the customs union.

          Non-tariff barriers include things like common safety standards and professional regulations. Businesses find it harder to sell goods and services in other countries if they aren’t the same.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Ahh...

            65 million is less that 500 million.

            It is yes, however this does actually present certain advantages. The EU has to accommodate the positions of dozens of different countries each wanting to protect their own industries against outside competition. This means that French farmers who are already getting significant amounts of cash via the CAP have really high tariffs to prevent competition.

            For instance, while the UK does have a few vineyards most of them are in the southernish parts of Europe. There is a 40% external tarrif on some alcoholic products to protect french, spanish and italian vineyards. The UK on it's own however could happily negotiate this away in trade negotiations without actually incurring any noticeable trade loss. The EU however can't as it would seriously affect other areas of their economy.

            Likewise with Chelsea tractors. Since the EU paid for the Land Rover factory to be moved from the UK to Slovakia we wouldn't have any great need to retain the existing EU 25% tariff on these. With a 25% drop in price, American imports become more competitive relative to the EU vehicles. No impact on the UK economy, and if the EU doesn't want to do a trade deal with us then problems it causes them are irrelevant to us.

            So being a smaller entity doing negotiations does actually have it's advantages. Hence why the EU is desperate to tie us into a "backstop" with us tied into their rules until we agree a disadvantageous and unchangeable trade deal.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

      Haulage firm IT here!

      5600 container lorries pass through the Channel Tunnel each day coming from France, into the UK. When the train pulls up in the UK, the lorries alight the train, show a copy of their manifest to customs, who check it's coming from the EU, then the lorry is on it's way. There is no queue. 5600 lorries arrive, and leave the terminal onto the motorway each day. The reason for this is that the customs checks for goods arriving from the EU take no more than about 30 seconds to process, this is a benefit of free movement of goods within the EU.

      On the other hand, we bring in containers from China, India and the US. Containers from these can be held up at customs for weeks without reason or recourse. For this reason, no supermarket brings perishable goods into the UK from outside the EU. It takes a maximum of 24 hours for a container from anywhere in the EU, to hit the UK motorways so food arrives nice and fresh.

      Our current estimates are that existing perishable stocks on the shelves would last about 3 days without replenishment (even if people don't panic buy, the food will spoil). Then you are left with tinned and processed food. Again, without replenishment you are looking at about a week to clear out supermarket shelves of these items. Without those 5600 lorries of goods per day coming into the UK there is going to be a shortage.

      Personally I'm starting to stockpile a pallet of tinned food. 3 tins of food a day for a month is 90 tins per person. Next time you're in a supermarket count 90 tins, then do some quick maths to figure out how many people that whole shelf will feed for a month without being restocked. I'm not expecting lord of the flies, but that first week or two is going to be a shock for many people who have no idea how quick it currently is to get goods from the EU, compared to anywhere else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

        AC> Haulage firm IT here!

        How dare you piss on the sacred Brexit unicorns and rainbows with your real world facts!!!

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

        To quote from Paul Krugman on this subject, if you're unable to maintain your import standards, you simply reduce your standards until you can.

        So at Brexit transition time, you shorten your customs queues by allowing in a bunch of goods uninspected - and just check a random few. With instructions to customs to not inspect anything perishable unless they have good reason.

        Problem solved. You'll get a bit of extra fraud of course, but given the alternative is bad - this is a small price to pay.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

          you simply reduce your standards until you can.

          I expect the Romanian horsemeat mafia have already cottoned on to this and are ramping up the slaughter of diseased and aging stock as we speak.

          Are those the lower standards which you would accept as 'problem solved'? No, I expect not. Please think before you encourage solutions which will hurt people, and in cases kill them.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

            Rich11,

            The supermarkets are selling our food to us. They are responsible for what they sell. And they can still vet their supply chain. This is the basis of how existing customs "trusted trader" schemes work already. If they conspire in shipping in shit goods, then we can throw the book at them.

            I'm talking about a temporary measure for a few weeks while people sort out supply chains.

            And remember the Romanian horsemeat scandal came about because we already were sharing a customs union with other countries that had lower standards So the EU is not some panacea. Plus as I undersand it, those horses have been eaten already. It was a one-off situation caused by a change in Romanian law that farms could no longer use horses and carts on the roads - so a bunch of horses rapidly became uneconomic and then became dinner.

            Brexit (deal or no deal) is going to disrupt supply chains. And the insistence of the Commision that they wouldn't even talk about the future trading arrangements has made that more of a problem. But I would suggest pragmatic solutions, rather than dogmatic ones.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

          >>To quote from Paul Krugman on this subject, if you're unable to maintain your import standards, you simply reduce your standards until you can.

          Exactly. This was one of the main points made by Brexitists wanting to allow easier importation of lower standard produce. It's exactly what some people voted for so: Game On!!!

          (Pass the chlorine-washed chicken and angel-dust beef pink-slime pies, please...)

        3. fajensen Silver badge

          Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

          Of course you are also getting the baby-powder with plastic in it that won't sell in China and the slightly radioactive tuna that Japan is exporting to Africa. No problem if you don't check, though.

          1. Rupert Fiennes Silver badge

            Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

            Such products are covered under existing WTO rules, and are imported or not to the UK on that basis *now*. Those processes are not the problem, it's EU imports and export processes that are going to change.

      3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

        "Personally I'm starting to stockpile a pallet of tinned food."

        Unless you're really cramped for space, it's a good policy.

        My suggestion is to buy 24 packs (slabs?) of staples (beans, tuna, full meals, fruit, veg) since it's a convenient size, and pile them up in the pantry, back of cupboard etc.

        When you do your shopping pick up cans of different things, and cycle through them. If you're stuck eating the same type of beans you might go a bit crazy anyway :)

        As long as you remember to replace them, eating cans from the stock is fine. Means you've always got things on hand.

        Living in a shared flat while doing this also shows that it works well in a barter economy too. Come Sunday lunchtime my pantry stock would be down by some beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and spam*, with beer, chocolate, Bunderburg or Dr Pepper left in exchange.

        "3 tins of food a day for a month is 90 tins per person."

        I went on a slab per week, half if you've got rice or pasta. 2kg of dried rice or pasta per person per week.

        *mmmmm, fried spam

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

        "customs checks for goods arriving from the EU take no more than about 30 seconds to process, this is a benefit of free movement of goods within the EU."

        It's my understanding that there are no serious problems at either the Canadian nor the Mexico border in the U.S. as far as commercial vehicles go (and I also know someone who's a U.S. Customs officer). Sure you may go from a 30 second to a 30 minute wait [let's say] but I doubt it will be long enough to spoil produce.

        In any case, trade agreements can help to streamline this process, and you could (in theory) have inspectors working on the "foreign" side. If UK Customs has such bottlenecks that it takes weeks for a container to be cleared, it reflects an inefficiency in the system that needs to be corrected (or a serious problem with that one country trying to get things in).

        So maybe a simple trade agreement with the EU, in which a similar process (as it is now) continues to happen, might be a good idea.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

          " a simple trade agreement with the EU" ... note that they've been working on a simple trade agreement with the EU for two years now and with a couple of months left the entire parliament is running round in circles screaming that everyone else is a damn "remainer"

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

            @Version 1.0

            "note that they've been working on a simple trade agreement with the EU for two years now"

            No they havnt. A Canada style trade deal was suggested but that wouldnt keep us in the EU so neither side was enthusiastic about it. Only remain or remain by the back door has been worked on.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

              Please stop it again with that conspiracy bollocks. You really think all that's been worked on is remain? As if those idiots could have such forsight.

              Why do you lot blame "remainers" every time things go wrong? When we inevitably crash and burn, no doubt you and your ilk will somehow blame the remainers and the EU too.

              This is your shit storm. Own it.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

                @AC

                "Please stop it again with that conspiracy bollocks"

                Conspiracy bollocks that the default and only unilateral option is hard brexit and yet may has arrived with a deal which would not only be remaining but also make it more difficult to leave? a deal considered worse than remaining (for leavers) or leaving (for remainers). Are you claiming different?

                "As if those idiots could have such forsight."

                I will grant you this could be attributed to incompetence instead of malice but hard brexit is not only an option but the default. Kinda hard to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory but they do seem to have put a lot of effort into it.

                "Why do you lot blame "remainers" every time things go wrong?"

                I dont. I blame the people responsible. The fact is these discussions often involve the gov who is a remain PM plus a heavy remain leaning bunch of MP's (who cant seem to agree on how to remain which is funny). Not many are deluded to think May is for leave or that the gov is.

                "When we inevitably crash and burn, no doubt you and your ilk will somehow blame the remainers and the EU too."

                Only for what they are responsible for. And right now they are painting the target on themselves by refusing to prepare for hard brexit (the default outcome), the uncertainty (caused by trying to remain) and trying to keep us in the institution we voted to leave. And if they somehow manage to cause us to crash and burn then hell yes the gov will be to blame.

                "This is your shit storm. Own it."

                Why does this never apply to remain?

                1. tfb Silver badge

                  Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

                  Why does this never apply to remain?

                  Because what remain wanted was for things to stay the same. If remain had won then, well, things would have stayed the same and I am sure they'd have been very happy to be responsible for that. But they didn't win, and the people who did win need to take responsbility for what they have done. This fucking catastrophe is not remain's fault and not the EU's fault.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

                    @tfb

                    "Because what remain wanted was for things to stay the same."

                    No you wernt. If that is what remoaners were voting for then they are incredibly stupid. The EU is in crises and desperately in need of reform. The EU has little support for what it is and requires serious change just to survive.

                    "This fucking catastrophe is not remain's fault and not the EU's fault."

                    The EU in catastrophe is their fault. Remainers in government refusing to plan for hard brexit when it is the only default and unilateral decision available is their fault. Remain propaganda of the end of the world is remains fault.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

                >This is your shit storm. Own it.

                Fat chance. The whole Brexit philosophy is based on blaming their shit on others.

                Oh , and lying. Natch.

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

            note that they've been working on a simple trade agreement with the EU for two years now and with a couple of months left the entire parliament is running round in circles screaming that everyone else is a damn "remainer"

            Version 1.0.,

            This is not true. Negotiations on a post Brexit trade agreement started in about July, and have produced a 25 page document that basically says "I dunno. But we'll make our best endeavours to try and agree something before the UK is forced into the backstop in a couple of years."

            I suspect this is why May's deal got voted down quite so catastrophically badly. Because of the lack of any effort made to sell the downsides of the deal with the future upsides. It makes the argument that the Commission have negotiated in bad faith all along pretty hard to counter.

            That was entirely the EU's choice. The Commission insisted on the timetable. They insisted on delaying everything until an exit cost was agreed - before even talking about the rest of the withdrawal agreement. Then refused to even discuss the future relationship until the withdrawal agreement was broadly agreed - despite the fact that the backstop would be irrelevant in many scenarios post Brexit, and so all this pain could have been saved.

            Now to be fair, the Commission had good reason. They wanted a united front from the 27, who might all want different things from the future trading deal. So they didn't want their own disunity to cause a no-deal Brexit. Because there are areas like fishing that could cause France or Spai to veto everthing, if done together - and then they'd be blamed for a disorderly Brexit.

            But the refusal to even look at things in parallel has caused the current situation. Because the backstop can't be sold without some promise that it won't be permanent. And there's no point in it if it isn't - so there has to be an obvious way to a future deal that still protects the Irish border. And with the EU being as obstructive to a deal as they have been - that can't be "trust us we'll use our best endeavours to agree..." Especially as President Macron has publicly said that he can force Britain into the backstop if they don't give France access to their fishing grounds - and Wayand (Barnier's deputy) has said that there's no way out of the backstop but permanent customs union and this can be used as leverage to control British trade policy in the future.

            If we'd had an honest attempt by both sides to come to an agreement acceptable to both sides (I'd argue May's been broadly honest but incompetent), then we'd be most of the way to a deal by now. But it looks to me like the Commission may have over-played their hand, and undermined May so much that the only choices now are for them to publicly back down or no deal to happen automatically. The other option is remain, but I don't think there's even a majority in Parliament to force a second referendum - let alone to cancel Article 50 without one.

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: let alone to cancel Article 50 without one

              I'm wondering whether the plan is to go right to the wire (mid March), and then to say "ok, let's extend Article 50", and discover (oh, what a surprise) that there's not enough time to agree that with the other 27 countries.

              The only options then are No Deal, or to cancel Article 50. Even accepting a deal will need an extension to Art 50 at such short notice.

              Remember that cancelling Article 50 can be done unilaterally by UK, with no agreement needed from any other country. With a straight vote between those two eventualities, cancelling Article 50 is likely to win by a very wide margin, because there is no risk associated with it.

              May will try to pacify the Brexiteers by promising to revisit Article 50 at a later date. She can promise all she likes but (a) that isn't going to happen with her as PM and (b) she has form in not keeping promises.

              The conclusion to that outcome will doubtless be a General Election, as she's not kept the Referendum commitment.

    5. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Ahh...

      Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty'? Really?

      They really are. And shelves really could be emptied. It's not just that things could easily get disrupted after brexit, but the fear of shortages can lead to panic buying and a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if there wouldn't have otherwise been a problem.

      Most people with any sense will be stocking up "just in case" and seeing shelf stock decline will have more people thinking they really should as well . Given the frequent sparsity in my local supermarkets one would be forgiven for thinking brexit had already happened.

      What will have us done for is a minister assuring us there's no need to panic, everything's under control, there will be no shortages. We'll all be drinking our own piss by the end of the week.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Ahh...

        >>>We'll all be drinking our own piss by the end of the week.<<<

        What! Do we import water to fill our reservoirs & lakes?

        1. Alien8n Silver badge

          Re: Ahh...

          I think you'll find that's a Blackadder quote :)

        2. chubby_moth

          Re: Ahh...

          No,.. he probably means ale, the English version of beer... well,.. sort of.

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Ahh...

        "We'll all be drinking our own piss by the end of the week."

        No need - I don't think the import of American beers will be impacted.

      3. Rupert Fiennes Silver badge

        Re: Ahh...

        It's not our own piss, it's a "fine wine". Or perhaps, the complaints are merely a "fine whine"?

    6. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Ahh...

      Yes. As an example, we have two days supply of toilet paper in the UK. Any sort of blockage at Dover would mean that supply dries up very quickly.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Ahh...

        Any sensible person will keep a couple of weeks worth handy just in case the whole family goes down with a severe case of the trots.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Ahh...

          ... therefore they should have a couple of weeks for the trots, and brexit reserves!

        2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: a severe case of the trots.

          A couple of weeks of a form of communism might focus people's minds...

          However I don't think any future government, in my lifetime, would never, ever dare to put forward the idea of a referendum, ever again.

          1. Mooseman Bronze badge

            Re: a severe case of the trots.

            "However I don't think any future government, in my lifetime, would never, ever dare to put forward the idea of a referendum, ever again."

            Or at least if they do, it will have sensible limits on what qualifies as a result - a minimum margin in favour like 60-40, for example, not some insane first past the post scenario where we could be plunged into crisis by a single vote, or, failing that, never accept a referendum result as legally binding.

          2. Arthur the cat Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: a severe case of the trots.

            However I don't think any future government, in my lifetime, would never, ever dare to put forward the idea of a referendum, ever again.

            You've got far more faith in our politicians than I have.

            1. Rupert Fiennes Silver badge

              Re: a severe case of the trots.

              I think you'll find referendums become a thing when people *lack* faith in politicians. Grandly declaring that those proles should never be allowed to decide their fate is liable to increase the demand for referendums, not reduce them :-)

          3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: a severe case of the trots.

            However I don't think any future government, in my lifetime, would never, ever dare to put forward the idea of a referendum, ever again.

            Parliament did try to ensure damage was as limited as it could be by making it an advisory vote. They didn't "hand the decision to the people to make" as the many liars pursuing leaving falsely claim. Unfortunately the two main parties in parliament were happy to go along with that lie to further their own desires, and we have ended up with exactly what needed to be avoided.

            The worst time to have a referendum is when people are evenly split, and especially on something which both halves the country see as an existential threat to their own futures.

            It's the biggest fuck-up I can remember in my life time.

      2. Kernel Silver badge

        Re: Ahh...

        "Yes. As an example, we have two days supply of toilet paper in the UK. Any sort of blockage at Dover would mean that supply dries up very quickly."

        Yes, I would imagine that after a couple of days you'd definitely be hoping that it dries very quickly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ahh...

          The Koreans have your back on the bathroom front: the Samsung bidet. It washes and blows where others just wipe.

          (Don't forget to check for compatibility with your other electronic devices!)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ahh...

            "The Koreans have your back on the bathroom front: the Samsung bidet. It washes and blows where others just wipe."

            Hopefully there will be a cheap Chinese knockoff that sucks too...

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: Ahh...

              "Hopefully there will be a cheap Chinese knockoff that sucks too..."

              With the OS supplied by Microsoft ;)

          2. Olivier2553 Silver badge

            Re: Ahh...

            Even without sophisticated bidet. Having spent over 25 years in Thailand, I find it way more hygienic to wash down there than to use paper. A bucket of water and a small container to draw water and you are good to go.

      3. 's water music Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Ahh...

        Yes. As an example, we have two days supply of toilet paper in the UK. Any sort of blockage at Dover would mean that supply dries up very quickly.

        A blockage will reduce demand surely? And if it dries quickly....

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahh...

      People on this side of the pond start panic buying when the supermarkets are going to be closed for one day over Christmas. Believe me, the first whiff of a rumour that there are any difficulties in getting food supplies, and the shelves will be empty faster than you can say "project fear!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ahh...

        And in the states, every time there's a threat of a snow storm, supermarket shelves run out of bread and milk.

    8. tfb Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Ahh...

      Yes, there are farms. If you knew any history at all you'd know about this big war we had between 1939 and 1945: there were farms then as well, and we ploughed up a lot of land that had not previously been used too. and yet, somehow, we had to ration food: could it be that our farming system does not produce enougj food for us?

      The rest of your comment is similarly uninformed about, well, everything. I'd do some reading if I were you.

      1. Mooseman Bronze badge

        Re: Ahh...

        ": could it be that our farming system does not produce enough food for us?"

        that, and the fact that we now rely heavily on imported food types that our forefathers never saw. Does our future hold the prospect of 1970s style school dinners all round?

        1. Mike Richards

          Re: Ahh...

          'Does our future hold the prospect of 1970s style school dinners all round?'

          Pink custard and sponge pudding? Yes please!

        2. tfb Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Ahh...

          While that's true, I believe we are not self-sufficient in wheat (ie, in bread), although we are closer to being so than we once were I think.

    9. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Ahh...

      Upvoted for saying "bollocks"!

    10. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Ahh...

      Seriously, this appears to be utter bollocks to me.

      That's because (and please don't think I mean to be rude to you personally here) you don't know much about how international trade works, can't have been paying attention for the last two years and haven't really stopped to think about it. That, unfortunately, is exactly how Brexit came about.

    11. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Ahh...

      No, you're right. It's bollocks.

      We were told yesterday that Brexit will cause the deaths of 12,000 people due to delays in importing fresh fruit.

      It's all bollocks, but they don't need every lie to stick, just some of them. See your other replies for examples ( eg: pretending that every container from outside the EU is inspected. It isn't. 2% are inspected ).

      1. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: Ahh...

        On the other hand: 18000 might be saved because there is no tobacco available and 15000 will die because the good Scotch Whiskey normally for export will have to be consumed locally ... reminds me, I have to order some.

  6. redpawn Silver badge

    Must use insecticide instead of deodorant

    otherwise these fine garments will keep insects from starving.

  7. joeW Silver badge

    Spotted in a North Korean men's fashion magazine: edible shirts

    I'm more taken aback by the news that North Korea has a men's fashion magazine.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    What are you eating under there?

    Under where? At least a dozen comments and no El Barto reference!

  9. Zarno

    I think I'll stick with a towel, thanks.

    "ZAPHOD:

    Hey, Roosta, is there anything to eat in this situation?

    ROOSTA:

    Here Zaphod. Suck this.

    ZAPHOD:

    You want me to suck your towel?

    ROOSTA:

    The yellow stripes are high in protein, the green ones have vitamin B and C complexes, and the little pink flowers contain wheat germ extract.

    ZAPHOD:

    What are the brown stains?

    ROOSTA:

    Barbeque sauce.

    [ZAPHOD sucks towel]

    ZAPHOD:

    Yee-uck! It tastes as bad as it looks!

    ROOSTA:

    Yes. When I’ve had to suck that end a bit, I usually need to suck the other end too.

    ZAPHOD:

    Why? What’s in that?

    ROOSTA:

    Anti-depressants.

    "

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is nothing new, the Americans have been eating shorts for years.

  11. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Waiter Waiter...

    There's a fly in my edible trousers

  12. Frank Bitterlich

    Let them eat shirts...

    The items are aimed at outdoorsy types that might come unstuck on a mountain somewhere and need something to chow down on while awaiting rescue rather than for citizens enduring food shortages.

    Just assuming that this is a clever marketing campaign to target the many adventure-loving North Korean folks who love nothing more than taking their SUV for a quick weekend trip to their luxurious mountain cabins for some free-climbing fun and maybe some heli skiing...

    OK, so you're stuck somewhere up on a North Korean mountain for an extended period (maybe your snow mobile broke down, and as usual the heli taxi needs forever to pick you up), such that starvation might become a factor. Outside temp around freezing point. What do you do? Eat your shirt and freeze to death?

  13. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    The Rule of Threes

    You die after:

    3 minutes without air

    3 hours without shelter

    3 days without water

    3 weeks without food

    I'll keep my clothes on thank you.

    (Trust me, you'll also thank me if I do.)

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Re: The Rule of Threes

      "You die after: ... 3 hours without shelter"

      So, those aren't sunbathers on that beach?

    2. Goldmember

      Re: The Rule of Threes

      "You die after: ... 3 hours without shelter"

      Last year I hiked to the top of Ben Nevis. The round trip took 7 hours (it was shitting down with rain and I am not as fit as I used to be).

      That's more than double your 3 hours. In Scotland. With no shelter.

      I did not die. Am I in fact... invincible?

      ** contemplative face **

      1. hmv Bronze badge

        Re: The Rule of Threes

        I'm a bit suspicious of the '3 hours without shelter' myself, but hiking as opposed to trying to get a kip is an entirely different matter. And no, hiking non-stop (24x7) isn't usually an option for ordinary people.

    3. Def Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: The Rule of Threes

      3 hours without Internet.

      FTFY. ;)

    4. D@v3

      Re: Shelter

      I have read this many times, and wondered on just such occasions about the whole 'shelter' thing.

      As my fellow commentards have already noted, I'm sure many of us regularly spend more than 3 hours, out and about, with no ill effects. Even in more extreme situations, I remember this one time, when i was doing some backpacking, arriving in Nice a bit late in the day, all the hostels were either full or not taking any more in for the night, so we slept on the beach, no sleeping bags, just jumpers as covers and bags as pillows. Uncomfortable due to it being a pebble beach, but i survived. (at least, i think i did)

    5. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

      Re: The Rule of Threes

      You forgot:

      3 rounds in the chest

      Just going for completeness!

  14. arctic_haze Silver badge

    I'm not sure

    It would be fun to see the 52% of Brexiters eating their pants. I would however pity the other 48%.

  15. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh

    Whilst Lester lived up a hill in Spain, may be he would have come up with a survival menu plan for those in Blighty in the event of supermarket shelves emptying upon Brexit, based on prior exploits

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/25/quid_a_day_nosh_posse/

    http://www.lulu.com/shop/neil-barnes/food-for-a-tenner-a-week/paperback/product-22072696.html

    Thanks also to Neil Barnes

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As the UK continues to fret over dire warnings of supermarket shelves emptying as a side effect of Brexit, North Korea has a solution for the alleged impending crisis.

    Wow, this is great hyperbole! Are you the guy that also claimed that the streets would be choked with the dead and the dying if the U.S. Government was to undergo a partial shutdown for more than a few days? It looks like fun! I'm keen to have a go!

    "The only thing that the North Korean government has done to combat hunger is to churn out massive quantities of methamphetamine."

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Wool is, of course, rich in protein. It's just a bit tricky to digest.

    I think we'll get the greenhouse in operation a bit early this year. With any luck we can get a crop of lettuce and radishes ready fairly quickly.

  18. NickTheGeek

    Brextarvation

    Well, the Brexiled people won't stay hungry. May (yes, she!) may make a good soup (what was that old proverb about chickens, I don't remember any more?). Johnson might be tasty grilled. Farage might be good as stew. Etc.

    And now a little more serious (but not less dramatic) comment: You know that kind of medical doctors that always make bad health status predictions? If you die, everybody will say they are good doctors to make diagnosis. And if you happen to survive, they will be praised as wonderworkers. Υou face all the possible negative predictions now. After Brexit the things are probably going to be somewhat bad, maybe also very bad, I don't know, but not worse than that. So you'll praise tour wonderworking polititians who saved you from disasters.

    And to mention the Godwin's law, too, and also the "Reductio ad Hitlerum", remember the nazi propaganda strategy when Russians were destroying the Reich from the east? The nazis spread the "fake news" about two big cities fallen in Russians' hands, and then, after a day or two, from the radio they tell the people not to believe to that propaganda. "Yes, we've temporary lost one of those two cities, and we are working on getting it back, but that story about the other city is completely false, don't trust the enemy propaganda!". And that kind of story was repeated several times. You, Brexiled people, are getting your share of nazi-like propaganda now... :-)

  19. NickTheGeek

    Brextarvation

    Well, the Brexiled people won't stay hungry. May (yes, she!) may make a good soup (what was that old proverb about chickens, I don't remember any more?). Johnson might be tasty grilled. Farage might be good as stew. Etc.

    And now a little more serious (but not less dramatic) comment: You know that kind of medical doctors that always make bad health status predictions? If you die, everybody will say they are good doctors to make diagnosis. And if you happen to survive, they will be praised as wonderworkers. Υou face all the possible negative predictions now. After Brexit the things are probably going to be somewhat bad, maybe also very bad, I don't know, but not worse than that. So you'll praise tour wonderworking polititians who saved you from disasters.

    And to mention the Godwin's law, too, and also the "Reductio ad Hitlerum", remember the nazi propaganda strategy when Russians were destroying the Reich from the east? The nazis spread the "fake news" about two big cities fallen in Russians' hands, and then, after a day or two, from the radio they tell the people not to believe to that propaganda. "Yes, we've temporary lost one of those two cities, and we are working on getting it back, but that story about the other city is completely false, don't trust the enemy propaganda!". And that kind of story was repeated several times. You, Brexiled people, are getting your share of nazi-like propaganda now... :-)

    But beware...you'll be also faced with the austerity-related fairy tales, in order to continue the erosion of workers' and citizens' rights...

    Already seen in several other EU states...

    1. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: Brextarvation

      "But beware...you'll be also faced with the austerity-related fairy tales, in order to continue the erosion of workers' and citizens' rights..."

      Imposed by national governments not the EU.

  20. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The US cavalry are here to save us: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47036119

    lAll we have to do is accept hormone & antibiotic-laden meat & glyphosate etc in agricultural produce. Bleached chicken isn't specifcally mentioned but that's probably in there as well.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      The US cavalry are here to save us: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47036119

      lAll we have to do is accept hormone & antibiotic-laden meat & glyphosate etc in agricultural produce. Bleached chicken isn't specifcally mentioned but that's probably in there as well.

      Meh, fine with me. Just mandate that any food gets a big sticker stuck on it with the food standards applied to it, and who certifies those standards are being met.

      So one sticker for:-

      "Organic" standard, EU Food Standard or US Standard

      And one sticker for "Self certified to meet that standard, honest!" and another for "3rd party certified to meet that standard & batches randomly checked."

      Then people can make a choice on what they buy. Then if you want to buy food self certified to EU standards, which lest we forget in recent memory has included gloriously non compliant beef horse meat burgers, hepatitis ridden sausages and Fipronil in eggs, along with eggs containing nicarbazin, lasalocid and dimetridazole then people can do.

      I'd note that EU food standards have caused actual demonstrable harm (the hepatitis issue was discovered by the NHS frantically trying to track down a major public health disaster as an infectious disease spread like wildfire) whereas US food that we do currently import has yet to cause these sort of problems, and no comparable scandals seem to regularly reoccur in the USA. (unless anybody can correct me on this)

      My opinion? I'd buy things certified by a third party to be to EU standards, and consider higher quality US stuff. Personally I wouldn't buy self certified EU products, or the cheaper end US stuff until i've done a good amount of research into what goes into them and I doubt that huge numbers of people would do either, but frankly i'd just let people do as they want to. I'm not convinced that the outcomes of food certified to US standards are worse than the outcomes from food (self) certified to be meeting EU standards.

      1. hmv Bronze badge

        "no comparable scandals seem to regularly reoccur in the USA. (unless anybody can correct me on this)"

        Not sure if it's comparable, but salads in the US can be laden with E. Coli :-

        1. https://sodelicious.recipes/news/salad-food-poisoning/

        2. https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-04-18/index.html

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Not sure if it's comparable, but salads in the US can be laden with E. Coli :-

          As can the ones in the EU, apparently:-

          https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/deadly-e-coli-outbreak-hits-germany/

          Same problem in both countries; people don't cook (or at least wash) veg before eating them. I'm therefore discounting that as a non issue. Next?

          My basic point is simply that a different method of producing safe to eat food often is objected to simply as a barrier to trade rather than because it's actually going to do any harm.

          For instance, the OP refers to the practice of giving chickens a mandatory wash with a water/chlorine solution to ensure with complete and 100% certainty that any bacteria is dead before the public gets the food. Is that dangerous? Well, since the water/chlorine solution used is less potent than that found in UK swimming pools one hopes not otherwise by this logic we're all going to die a horrible death. But that would seem a hit hyperbolic...

          The EU stated objection to this practice is that it might encourage companies to be more sloppy with other areas of food safety, which makes zero sense. If your after ensuring a safe outcome you mandate minimum requirements and encourage rather than prohibit additional precautions that are taken.

          The realistic reason that it's banned is that it's required in the USA, so it's an easy way of banning any meat products of this class from the USA from entering the EU. This is a good example of a non tariff barrier to trade that IMO could be dealt with quite simply by ensuring that things are labelled. That way if it bothers people they have the choice not to eat it.

      2. dave 76

        "Meh, fine with me. Just mandate that any food gets a big sticker stuck on it with the food standards applied to it, and who certifies those standards are being met."

        You can bet that won't happen. They will lobby hard to avoid anything that could enable people to identify the product negatively.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      @Doctor Syntax

      Yes lets all fear products from the developed world, the richest country, well populated and prosperous. Very qualities the EU dream of reaching.

      And of course the idea of free will is out so I guess we will be forced to buy these products even if we dont want them?

      Or of course we can look at the scare stories. Realise they are amusing but lies. Accept that food will be cheaper when we leave the EU (this isnt even debated. They put an asterisk to say '*from the EU' whenever claiming it is more expensive) and be happy.

      Might be quieter on the roads though if remainers are hiding in their bunkers

    3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      I assume you already refuse to buy EU bags of salad.

      What with them being washed with a mild chlorine solution.

      Or does that not count?

  21. chubby_moth

    The usual suspect

    No doubt when the UK goes to crap all parties involved in the making of this disaster will blame it on the EU and the other 27 countries in it. Especially the pesky Krauts that were unwilling to get those 26 others to rewrite the treaties that make up the EU and let the pea eaters have all the nice things they wished for. That after all is what they been promised by their Tory overlords and other madmen who are now expected to deliver. Blaming the EU having basically been the problem with in UK politics all the time as none of those were brave enough to go against the power of Murdoch for the past decades nor would they take responsibility for their own actions.

    Now I wonder if there will be any that will be brave enough to avert certain doom this year, cancel Brexit to save the UK, make serious work of the EU and change whatever EU rules would be more prudent to try and do it all over once things got worked out. No doubt there are some populist in Europe that will gladly sow the seeds of future trouble by supporting the Brexit effort if only out of spite. There are plenty of fascist movements to support the destruction of the socialist abomination that is the EU.

    If not I gather that illegal immigration to the UK will soon be a thing from the past and that mainland Europe and other horrible places can expect an influx of starving Brits and warzone refugees from the borderlands of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Manx, much like in the olden days. After that period in which England is only populated with coarse peasants who have managed to survive the harsh realities of their cake, the wider EU if it hasn't been occupied by the Chinese yet, may attempt to recolonise the island and bring it back to civilisation.

    Nah,... what probably will happen is that the UK will gladly flaunt any WTO rules about inspecting stuff at the borders, claiming to be incapable to comply due to a lack of customs officers and failed IT projects. And people have to eat, get their medicine and have holidays abroad. The cost of these legalities however seem to cost vastly more than whatever the UK ever contributed to the EU and just when you thought to have moved all the bureaucrats to Brussels they'll have to be reinstated at home.

    1. RichardB

      Re: The usual suspect

      "Nah,... what probably will happen is that the UK will gladly flaunt any WTO rules about inspecting stuff at the borders, claiming to be incapable to comply due to a lack of customs officers and failed IT projects. And people have to eat, get their medicine and have holidays abroad. The cost of these legalities however seem to cost vastly more than whatever the UK ever contributed to the EU and just when you thought to have moved all the bureaucrats to Brussels they'll have to be reinstated at home."

      Just think of the employment prospects. We will wipe out the dole queue over night.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: The usual suspect

        "Just think of the employment prospects. We will wipe out the dole queue over night."

        Unlikely, most of those in that dole queue never learned another skill than standing in that same dole queue, thanks to the NHS (and similar organizations) being to miserly to spend anything on educating them.

        1. Mooseman Bronze badge

          Re: The usual suspect

          "most of those in that dole queue never learned another skill than standing in that same dole queue, thanks to the NHS (and similar organizations) being to miserly to spend anything on educating them."

          I didn't realise the NHS ran schools. You live and learn.

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: The usual suspect

        "the UK will gladly flaunt any WTO rules about inspecting stuff at the borders"

        We are under no obligations to check any imports if we don't want to.

        Stop reading the Guardian.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A raft of new reality TV shows...

    Survival cooking in the buff with Bear Grills

    Celebrity Chef strip tease

    Great British Nude Bakeoff

    ....

    1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

      Re: A raft of new reality TV shows...

      Bare Grills

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: A raft of new reality TV shows...

        Bare Grills

        Even nudists wear aprons near barbecues.

  23. OzBob

    Apparently Alexei Sayle likes North Korean Sherry

    perhaps he can recommend an import agent that can branch out into clothing? (I would ask him myself, but we haven't' talked since I killed his brother)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Don't worry, internet. I'm ok.

    Over the past decade or so, I've forward-planned proactively in an agile manner by over-eating and under-exercising. My additional bulk should see me in good stead for Brexit. It'll be the skinnies that suffer here. The world belongs to the plus sized.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Don't worry, internet. I'm ok.

      That's what happened at Stalingrad. The fatsos did OK*, and the weakslim starved. According to Anthony Beevor analysis has been done of casualties. Those supply officers of a more paranoid type stockpiled food in the Summer/Autumn, expecting Winter problems. And shorted the rations to their troops a little. Others lived for the day - and passed all their food out. Sadly once surrounded, HQ shared the remaining food equally, so the units that hadn't saved food - got the benefit of having their cake and eating it.

      *For a given value of OK, given that this involved POW camps in Siberia.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're screwed. its just a matter of how long for.

    Well, working specifically in food logistics and having dealt with Brexit from the moment the referendum was announced.

    The Strategic Food reserves were shut down a few years ago

    Every frozen & chilled storage facility in the country is at capacity, there's only so much stockpiling you can do.

    Even basic products produced in the UK have a lot of EU ingredients -Butter as discussed earlier is actually traded in Euro's iirc which has lead to the increased price.

    Nearly all UK eggs are in shell and liquid egg (Shipped in tankers) for your pre made food comes from the EU

    The CPSS (Strategic petrol pipelines) have been privatised -lorries will be running out of fuel in the delays.

    As the logistics guy mentions earlier, even small delays will block the entire UK motorway network, or at least the South stopping staples from moving.

    "We" also know there are many unscrupulous individuals marshalling at ports hoping for an open border (which is the most likely fallback plan when shelves start emptying) so they can sneak things in during the inevitable chaos (Dodgy food refused entry into the EU mainly) but other more serious items.

    TL:DR -Stockpile at least 4 weeks food flour, eggs, frozen milk, beans etc and hope for the best.

    I also predict some minor riots & looting in London, Birmingham & Leeds! (Worst Case)

  26. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

    "We contacted the UK's Brexit planners for their thoughts"

    Haven't the last 2 years convinced you that they have none?

  27. devTrail

    Fake news

    Now the fake news of food shortages has even been transformed in a marketing joke. Not a single media source that the EU emergency plan states that even in case of no deal Brexit border controls will not be set up immediately, but there will be a gradual shift. This is further evidence that fake news do not come only from the internet, they are coordinated by mainstream media, moreover mainstream media outlets may appear at odds between each other, but their lies are carefully tailored to fit.

    1. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: Fake news

      " fake news do not come only from the internet, they are coordinated by mainstream media"

      Mainstream like...the BBC? The Mail? Express? Telegraph, Times, Sun?

      So what you call "fake news" actually means "news I don't like that doesnt come from media organisations that tell me how great it is all going to be"?

      1. devTrail

        Re: Fake news

        "Mainstream like...the BBC? The Mail? Express? Telegraph, Times, Sun?"

        I didn't read all of them, but everything I read predicted food shortages and all of them omitted to tell that at the end of March there will not be sudden border controls even in case of no deal Brexit.

        Get the facts reaching a conclusion as a result of a willful omission is fake news.

  28. Smarty Pants

    HMM

    This seems to be heading towards a site that says

    'Orange man bad'

    'Brexiteers stupid racists'

    I used to enjoy the Apple/MS/Linux flame wars

    1. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: HMM

      No, that's the readers posting their opinion. Are you saying we cant post opinions unless they support Trump and Brexit? Or can you give examples of how Trumpo and wrexit have benefitted anyone (other than A ) himself and B ) the very wealthy)

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: HMM

      I used to enjoy the Apple/MS/Linux flame wars

      Nonsense! Emacs/vim/vi flame wars are far superior!!!1!!

    3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: HMM

      It all went downhill when they pivoted to Leftie Politics, Storage and DevOps.

      Probably to attract the kids.

  29. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Trollface

    I think we'll be OK

    I can remember as a kid in the 50's (that's the time that Brexit is taking us back to) and I ate OK, the mutton was a bit stringy but lard sandwiches for breakfast were pretty good and for a salad in the winter we ate raw chopped brussels sprouts with grated carrots (no tomatoes in the winter). If I was a good boy I often got a banana at the end of the month - yowee! My mum spent most of the summer working in the allotment growing food and salting down a lot of it for the winter - see, that will help bring unemployment down too.

    I'm planning to resurrect all the old 40's to 50's recipes and publish them in a Brexiters cookbook - it will be a big success and I'l retire to France.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Stop

      Re: I think we'll be OK

      You monster! Spam fritters are EVIL!

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: I think we'll be OK

        LOL - sure but when it's the only thing on the menu it suddenly looks pretty good.

  30. codejunky Silver badge

    Ha

    "As the UK continues to fret over dire warnings of supermarket shelves emptying as a side effect of Brexit"

    Who is this UK fretting? I cant imagine all remain voters will fall for the FUD and there is no reason to think leavers are so stupid to fall for what is obviously propaganda.

    "The UK government therefore has plenty of options even if the worst predictions of the naysayers should come to pass."

    Such as with control of our borders that it wont be a problem. And with global markets (yes the world is bigger than the EU) which we already know will provide food cheaper than in the EU we have little to fear. But yet these funny stories will continue. I wonder if they will be put into a book at some point of amusing brexit FUD? Could sell well if the EU folds due to its many crises.

  31. tiggity Silver badge

    Just in Time

    JIT has become so embedded in supply chains that delays cause huge hassles.

    Especially as some complex items can involve some things that can cross from UK to EU multiple times e.g. an item is part processed in EU, some more widgets added in UK, back to EU for more widgets, back to UK for final widgets added and back to EU to go into product X.

    The above may sound farcical, but it happens where specialist tooling is done in different factories and is hassle free while we are in the EU

    There is a way to prevent any food shortages (which is just to carry on as we do now - wave through all the EU goods we currently do, do small amount of spot checks on EU goods) - this will mean no hold ups, but also will make a joke of being in control of borders (and is a nice opportunity for fraudsters)

    1. Rupert Fiennes Silver badge

      Re: Just in Time

      Forgive me for pointing out the bleeding obvious, but since we wave through all EU goods through now, why should we need to inspect some later? They are still going to have their country of origin papers.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Just in Time

        For WTO tariff purposes.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ice cream shortages!

    Yesterday the BBC News site had a piece saying there will be a shortage of Magnum ice creams

    Last night I noticed a few bus stops had posters for Magnum... what a coincidence

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