UK Companies Stockpile Alcohol For Christmas Over Fears Of Brexit Causing Draughts

Importers are stockpiling beer, wine and spirits to make sure alcohol continues flowing at Christmas despite the 31st October Brexit deadline.

Companies across the United Kingdom have begun building up their stock of beer, wine and spirits to ensure that alcohol does not stop flowing during the Christmas season amid concerns that Brexit could cause delays at ports and disrupt supplies over the festive season.

The United Kingdom is scheduled to exit the EU on 31st October, and despite a Parliamentary motion calling on PM Boris Johnson to delay the deadline should he not have a new deal or a no-deal approved by the House of Commons, it is still highly unclear as to what will happen next.

The Guardian reports that companies are rushing to bring forward their imports ahead of the 31st October deadline out of fears that the UK will crash out of the EU without a deal, causing lengthy delays and disruptions. Importers in the UK are further concerned that such delays would clash with the run-up to Christmas, which is characterised by higher imports, temporary staff are employed, and warehouse space is at a premium.

A survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (Cips) found that more than a fifth of companies have begun imports earlier than usual to avoid disruptions at the boarder in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

An economist with Crips, John Glen, was quoted by the Guardian as having said that alcohol importers in particular had started stockpiling imports from the EU in recent weeks, rather than waiting till November as is normally done.

“It’s particularly wine from the EU,” he said. “Companies have bought well ahead of Christmas this year, due to potential disruption at the ports and to try and avoid depreciation in the value of sterling against the euro.”

Britain is the biggest export market for champagne, buying more than 26m bottles a year, inadvertently supporting the French economy and the champagne market in general, worth some €4.9bn.

According to the UK Governments document on what a no-deal Brexit would look like, it is being envisioned that up to 85 per cent of lorries crossing the Channel might not be ready for a new French customs regime.




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