The empty spaces on our supermarket shelves are no illusion - Helen Martin

TODAY is the final, conclusive treatment of my white teeth veneers which has taken at least six weeks. For the last two weeks I had temporary tooth “covers” while the permanent, personal veneers were being professionally prepared. Soft food was all I could eat.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 4:55 am
Supermarkets are struggling to fill their supermarket shelves given issues in the supply chain, writes Helen Martin. PIC: Getty Images.

So, I was looking forward to tonight’s dinner – anything I wanted given I was armed with my strong veneers. Unfortunately, my choice remained limited with some supermarket workers in Edinburgh revealing at the start of this month that food shortages are getting worse.

They have to arrange some limited supplies on the front of shelves, spreading them to cover gaps, leaving empty space behind them, just to make the shop look better. Another staffer said people get angry, threatening and upset, with the lack of items like mince or baby milk.

The entire food industry confirms the supermarket shelves are emptying because of Brexit. It’s not just down to the lack of EU trades. In fact, more border checks for EU imports into the UK are due to start in October when it will get much worse.

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But there are many other issues right now. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) have declared it’s tougher to get all sorts of products in the UK because there are now not enough drivers, and around 15,000 from East Europe will be avoiding the UK.

The Cold Chain Federation (CCF), which deals with chilled and frozen food, said the lack of EU workers is a major problem.

Prices for meat, fruit and vegetables will soar too. All the haulage driver vacancies would have to be filled and that will add costs for everyone from supermarket owners to customers, let alone the catastrophe of EU trade deals which will become a lot worse than now.

There have been some hysterical or upsetting reactions from Conservatives and those who support Brexit and the Union.

I remember seeing Liz Truss, the trade minister, responding to someone complaining about the lack of fresh fruit. Her opinion was that there was no problem because there was lots of tinned fruit!

I also read Ian Murray MP claiming BBC was the world’s best public service broadcaster. Now that did shock me. The BBC is covering the Olympics, but it’s news coverage is severely limited. And the multiple horrors of Brexit, including the unsolvable food shortage, is rarely, if ever, mentioned.

I’ve given up on social media, which ranges from truth to crazy lies. But I do read formal notices online from organisations such as the RHA, the CCF, supermarkets and many others.

If the BBC has ever covered this, I don’t recall it as a lead story. A grim food shortage in Britain is likely to have a huge impact at Christmas and there is no solution from the UK government, who caused most of this disaster with a no-deal Brexit and some pretty useless new deals, such as those with Australia and China.

Until Brexit, 70 per cent of UK vegetable imports came from Spain, Netherlands, the Irish Republic, Germany and Poland. That’s just one fact which should make us all concerned.

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