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'Brexit boxes': Hundreds sold as Britons stock up for no-deal food supply disruption

Boxes contain one-month supply of freeze-dried food for emergencies

Ben Chapman
Monday 14 January 2019 17:51 GMT
What does a no-deal Brexit mean?

Hundreds of Britons have spent £300 on “Brexit boxes” to prepare for disruption to food supplies when the UK leaves the EU.

The government has said that there is no need to stockpile but some concerned consumers have stocked up regardless, boosting business for suppliers of emergency food.

Leeds-based Emergency Food Storage UK has been selling freeze-dried food for a decade but has seen a jump in demand since launching its Brexit box a month ago.

Company director James Blake said he has sold 600 of the boxes, which retail at £300 and each contain a one-month supply of freeze-dried meals and packs of dried meat that can be combined with other food such as pasta. The boxes also include a water filter and firelighter system.

The product has been much more popular than expected and has helped to drive up sales of the company’s other emergency food products, Mr Blake said.

Asked whether people would really need to turn to such supplies because of Brexit, he said: “People need to be prepared. What they do is entirely up to them but people should have a bit of forward planning so that they can feel more confident if something happens that they have a few days’ worth of food there to fall back on.”

“It may all go swimmingly and everything will turn out fine, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. No one seems to know what’s going on at the moment.”

He added: “If the worst happens, the predictions are correct and there is chaos at border, that would be a catastrophe. None of us want this.”

The government’s preparations for disruption at UK ports attracted widespread derision last week when 89 lorry drivers were each paid £550 each to take part in a “live test” of post-Brexit readiness.

Former Conservative chairman Lord Patten described the exercise as a “taxpayer funded farce”, adding: “The idea that creating a fake traffic jam will show the EU we are ready for a no deal is just plain stupid.”

Lorries perform no-deal Brexit test at Kent airfield

Tinned supplies in the Brexit boxes last for 25 years, while the food in packets is good for seven years, meaning that they could be used for other future eventualities if not required after Brexit.

Emergency Food Storage UK insists it is not taking advantage of people’s fears about a no-deal Brexit and says it does not make a “huge profit” from each box.

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