[Brexit Chat] Stockpiling For Brexit

Some people really think the country will collapse when we leave the EU don’t they?

Let’s get one thing clear.

The country will continue and so will life itself.

There maybe changes but there aren’t going to be food shortages or medicine shortages.

Iceland and some other countries are not part of the EU but have a trade agreement and these countries are some of the best in the world so why can’t the U.K. be the same?

Does anyone think that once we leave all the companies that do business with us are all suddenly going to stop?

The EU is a dead idea people saying what we can or cannot do from another country? Crackers absolutely crackers.


The difference is that we have 40 years of history within the EU to untangle and create our own regulations for. In the long run, yes I’d imagine everything will be fine, but there is the possibility of short term disruption as we transition back to being separate from the EU.

Although, while in the EU, our country has a say on all things. If there is anything our country doesn’t agree with, our representatives can veto it.


I think there will be supply issues if there’s a no deal, how bad they’ll be is completely unknown. But I expect a deal and if not i’ll just head over the border to shop


I’m sure they’ll be supply issues with certain products but they’ll always be other food I’m not worried.


Sigh indeed.

I have no comment to make on the Brexit debate on one side or another, but I’d strongly urge everyone to avoid taking all their information from partisan analyses like those posted by @Chapuys.

For each “analysis” by pro-leave you will find equal and opposite “analyses” by similarly biased pro-remain organisations.

Do your own research and look for bipartisan or neutral sources of information. And try not to look for information that supports your existing opinion or worldview.

And on stockpiling, make your own mind up, but there is probably no harm in having fuller cupboards whether or not you think that no deal is either a possibility or if you feel that it is likely to be the best exit from the EU / disaster for the country / business as usual.


I was clear it was a Labour Leave / Global Britain document and gave links. However it does point out, with some references, what is currently happening on the border bringing it into one place and not many places actually do. That was the reason I used it.

Like everything you need to read between the lines, follow up the points which have been raised and check out the facts whether you believe they are true or not.

Exactly. Both sides are saying things to justify their polarised point of view. People need to not just take the superlatives from each side of the campaign as gospel truth.

As I said, investigate yourself. Look at documents, check out the sources and make an informed decision about how your life will be affected.


I won’t be to be stockpiling food neither will I be constructing a bomb shelter in the back garden


Apparently no one believes this. The government said there would be no shortage and the NHS has said they would need see more info.

Niall Dickson, co-chair of the Brexit Health Alliance and chief executive of NHS Confederation, said the NHS will now want to see more “comprehensive operational advice” on issues such as the stockpiling of medicines and equipment, medical research and public health— in time for them to take robust action before the UK leaves the EU.

The pharmaceuticals industry has said they people may want to stockpile their own drugs Patients 'may need to stockpile own drugs if no-deal Brexit looms' | Brexit | The Guardian

Not to mention the govrenment seems to see the need to stock pile themselves and predicts issues with imports

Today’s letter explains that “revised” government predictions now expect there to be “significantly reduced access” for up to six months to the short routes between Dover and Calais, “where the frequent and closed loop nature of these mean that both exports and imports would be affected”. To avoid the expected congestion, the government plans to prioritise the movement of medicine and medical devices through alternative routes. “Roll on/roll off” freight capacity will mean that imports can be driven away from ports immediately after they enter the UK.

In August, Hancock requested that pharmaceutical companies that supply British patients ensure they have six weeks’ worth of additional supplies or “buffer” stocks. In today’s letter the health secretary reports that he is “extremely pleased by the response rate” by companies to the stockpiling requests.

The government is literally getting everyone to stockpile.

It’s very clear the government sees a risk in a availability of medicine and people who rely on it are rightly so moving to mitigate that risk themselves.

(your first link was deleted btw)

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Brexit won’t happen!!

We cannot have a no deal or there will be a hard border simple as.

The May deal will be voted down.

In the very unlikely event either of the latter 2 happen, I am glad i am in Scotland and I will again vote for Indy, I am a Welshman too living in Scotland since 2004

Also not stockpiling :wink:


You could be right.


  1. If MPs do nothing, there will be a a hard Brexit on 29th March.

  2. If MPs vote for May’s deal, there’ll be a softer Brexit on 29th March.

  3. For any other option, MPs will have to formulate, debate, and agree another course of action before 29th March.

This is just a matter of law. The legislation (The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) has already been passed.


Or everyone could just ignore that whole border problem and pretend it’s not an issue. People will just get on with things then in 50 years someone will realise we never actually did anything about that.

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Not going to happen as it is required for custom checks.

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You’re correct on point 2. However, on points 1 and 3, there are several avenues in which more time could be bought. Either by the Government, Parliament, or a collusion of both.

The Government of the day could easily step in and defer/cancel Article 50, and then make changes to the legislation to prevent it coming into practical effect on 29th March.

While some factions like to portray the idea that Brexit is hard coded into law, come what may, this isn’t the case. While it’s true that the mentioned Act has been passed, its legal significance in terms of the UK departing the EU on the 29th is minimal. The purpose of that Act is to make domestic provision for what happens with EU law in the UK after the European Communities Act 1972 is repealed. Section 1 implements this repeal on ‘exit day’.

The essence of the Act is that it ports over pre-existing legislation derived from the ECA 72 into UK law, if and when the ECA 72 is repealed. But it doesn’t really legislate for the actual withdrawal process, or put any obligation on the UK to definitively leave the EU at all. Of course, parliament authorised the UK to leave in a previous Act (European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017) - giving the Government permission to invoke Article 50 of the TEU, conferring the power to notify the EU of an intention to leave, but put no obligation that the Government must see the process through.

The only significant intervention the Withdrawal Act makes in respect of the exit process is that it forces the Government to get Parliamentary approval of its deal in order to ratify the deal in any exit treaty (see Section 13). But even if parliament rejects May’s deal, it is not inevitable that we will see a no deal Brexit on the 29th.

Let’s see how ‘exit day’ has been defined in the legislation - it is significant because it is the trigger used as a condition for much of the Act actualising:

Section 20 - Interpretation - European Union (Withdrawal) Act:

s.20 (2):

“In this Act references to before, after or on exit day, or to beginning with exit day, are to be read as references to before, after or at 11.00 p.m. on 29 March 2019 or (as the case may be) to beginning with 11.00 p.m. on that day.”

In other words, the Act has been written to actualise at a time which is coincidental with when the UK departs the EU.

Which seems quite solid. But just two subsections down, notice how easily this definition can be changed by a Minister in Government if the date the EU treaties cease changes.

s.20 (4)

"A Minister of the Crown may by regulations—

(a) amend the definition of “exit day” in subsection (1) to ensure that the day and time specified in the definition are the day and time that the Treaties are to cease to apply to the United Kingdom, and

(b) amend subsection (2) in consequence of any such amendment"

Now, the ‘day and time that the Treaties are to cease to apply to the United Kingdom’ is dictated by Article 50;

“3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

The EU have indicated they are happy to extend this period if the UK sought to.

As confirmed by the ECJ, Article 50 is also unilaterally revocable by the departing Member State

If the Government for any reason chooses to cancel or seek to extend Article 50, it can do so without parliamentary authority. Even if MPs have chucked May’s deal out, the Government can still decide to either delay or cancel Article 50. This is because international treaties are the prerogative of Government. The reason it had no prerogative to commence the process was that doing so might impinge on rights implemented by Parliament in the ECA 72. But no rights set by Parliament would be impinged upon by its reversal of the decision. (See R v Miller).

Any Minister can make a Statutory Instrument to change the definition of s.20 (2) which would stop the provisions of the Act being actualised on 29th March at 11pm. Although the provisions of the act are legally ‘in force’ already - they are defined as being contingent as occurring at/on/after '“exit day” and a simple change to the meaning of exit day would stop the post-exit day provisions from actualising.

In light of this - let’s look over your scenarios (and some extra ones) again:

If, before March 29th:

  1. If MPs do nothing (unlikely):
  • Brexit would be in the hands of the Government. It could choose to opt for no deal, or defer/cancel Article 50 and change the legislation (the statutory order effecting the exit would need to be positively rejected by parliament to stop this - and let’s assume they don’t do that in this scenario. Even if parliament stopped the legislation being changed, it would not directly effect whether we stayed in or left the EU on that date, although it would create a messy situation for the courts to clear up)

  • So even though the Government insists it’s going to plough ahead, if it looked like the UK were really on course for no deal, I think there’s a high likelihood it would at least defer Article 50 with its prerogative, because, in honesty it does not seem prepared for no deal. (Ordering a ferry company that has never operated before and owns no ships…). And I think there would be too much pressure from the electorate/business/parliament to avoid a No Deal scenario, even if an alternative is yet to be worked out.

  1. If MPs vote for May’s deal (unlikely).
  • Brexit would again be in the hands of the Government. It would be permitted to ratify the exit deal, at its discreiton and leave on the terms May’s deal. Or, May herself could in a shock turn of events disown her own deal and still decide to leave on no deal, or delay/cancel Article 50. MPs could ‘dummy’ the May administration before plotting a political coup, toppling May. The incoming Gov’t would then likely delay Article 50 until a leadership election/general election took place.
  1. MPs try to to formulate, debate, and agree another course of action (likely).
  • If May’s own party were among those planning for a different Brexit scenario, she would likely acquiesce to try save her own career and remaining reputation, and delay Article 50 through the the mechanism described in this post. She could cling on long enough to get some form of second Brexit deal agreed with Parliament and the EU, before certainly leaving office immediately afterwards. Or, she or her Government might resign and a new leadership election and possibly general election be set in motion, with Article 50 delayed until the new Government is in place. This would buy MPs time to reevaluate their approach. If the EU refuse to extend Article 50 for some reason, her options would be no deal, or to unilaterally cancel Brexit with intention of reinvocation after MPs decide their approach. In this scenario we can assume there is no poltical mandate for no deal, and May would kill off the Conservative party if she still opted for it, meaning she certainly wouldn’t.
  1. MPs reject May’s deal but there is a clear mandate for an alternative approach when MPs are given the chance to vote on alternative options (unlikely).
  • There is a lot of talk in the media about MPs being given a selection box of options to vote on by the Government if May’s deal is rejected. These would vary from Norway-style EEA membership, Canada+ Free trade, remaining in the Customs Union/Single Market , leaving with no deal, leaving with a deal that agrees a ‘clean break’ etc. If somehow MPs got behind one of these options, unless they chose a clean break/no deal, there is no chance of this new plan being agreed by the EU before March 29th, thereby prompting a delay to Article 50 to allow for this to be attempted to be negotiated with the EU. Again, if the EU refused to extend, the only alternative would be a revocation with intention to reinvoke.
  1. MPs reject May’s deal, and none of the selection box options receive a clear mandate in parliament (likely).
  • But, as we know - there is no consensus in Parliament as to what form of Breixt is preferable. I am sure the Government is aware that none of its alternatives will receive backing, and it shall use this as an excuse to delay Brexit and kick the can down the road. Again this will probably lead to a change of leadership, and then who knows what will happen eventually.
  1. May falls before the 29th (possible).
  • If either her party or a majority in parliament manage to force May out, this is again certain to lead to a delay. It’s most likely that she would gracefully leave and delay the process until a new Government is in place. In the unlikely event that she loses support but tries to carry on without the command of Parliament, her Government would probably face a Motion of No Confidence and the Queen would likely appoint Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, but under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act he’d have to get a Motion of Confidence passed by the Commons within 14 days of the May Administration’s Motion of No Confidence - which he not would get, tying his hands and leading to an automatic General Election. Again, meaning a delay to Brexit. In extraordinary circumstances, where May neither had any support, but also enough MPs supported her in the No Confidence vote, the Queen might have to make an extremely rare intervention and dismiss her Government, appointing someone else, likely Corbyn, on the condition he/she immediately calls an election.
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Could someone give me a tldr of this ^^ please?

I’m a slow reader at the best of times :joy:


Sorry pal, I got a bit carried away as usual :joy:

Basically, for various reasons, the Government of the day can postpone or cancel (with the intention of reinvoking) Article 50, either out of necessity, poltical pressure, or to allow more time for futher negotions.

This is despite the exit date already being written into law.

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I think it’s possible to see stockpiling for Brexit as a form of Pascal’s wager.

A rational person should live as though Brexit will happen and seek to stockpile for Brexit. If Brexit does not actually happen, such a person will have only a finite loss (some money, food they’re not wholly enthused about consuming), whereas he stands to receive infinite gains (as represented by having food and avoid infinite losses (starving)).

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Sound logic, if the threat of food being suddenly scarce were a genuine one, eg the Met Office had issued a flood warning. But the idea anyone will starve directly because of Brexit is completely nonsense.

Even IF Brexit caused any signficant disruption to EU imports of foods (which is extremely unlikely)

A) Supermarkets, not wanting to lose profit, will have made their own stockpiles which they will steadilly distribute to stores

B) Plenty of food is British grown and sourced

C) Plenty of food is imported from non-EU countries.

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B) Plenty of food is British grown and sourced
But we dont have the required level of labour even now to get it from the farms :wink:

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
Esther Boserup

  • Farms should be encouraged to advertise their jobs in Britain, as opposed to only overseas
  • Where there is demand, there is innovation
  • Current EU workers who have settled in the UK will be protected by settled status

The whole point is that it’s sound logic regardless of the outcome.

The outcome is positive? You win.
The outcome is negative? You win.

In this case, where you’re buying food, you’re fed. Whether you eat it now, or whether you eat it later, you’re fed. You win. Even if you ‘lose’ (Brexit passes without incident) you still win (you have food).

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