By Joe Harker
If you're worried about shortages of food and medicine in the aftermath of Brexit then you're definitely right to do so. If the UK leaves on March 29 with no deal, as it is currently on course to do, then imports will be affected and supply chains across the UK will suffer.
Many UK businesses use a "just in time" method for their chains of supply, allowing them to keep full shelves and a constant flow of goods coming in without taking up masses of storage space on products they will need at some point in the future.
The downside of this supply method is that a disruption in one part of the supply chain has a knock on effect. If a product is late to arrive at one part of the supply chain then it will be late for the subsequent parts too, ultimately resulting in it not being on the shelves when it should be. Each goods lorry entering the UK could take up to eight hours to fully check
A no deal Brexit means the UK will leave the EU and have to resort to hard borders, meaning people and goods will need to be subject to stringent checks before they can enter the country. The UK is used to a regular flow of goods coming in and thanks to the customs union that comes with EU membership the rules and regulations are the same on both sides of the border in member state countries.
This is what would cause shortages, with delays at the border stopping goods being imported as smoothly as before and interfering with the supply chains of thousands of British businesses. For many of these companies stockpiling is the best option, though 75 per cent of the UK's warehouse space is reportedly full up leaving them with fewer places to store what they need. Demand isn't expected to change so supply will need to be altered.
That's why some people are taking matters into their own hands and stockpiling food in their own homes, filling their own "Brexit box" with things they don't want to risk running out of. Certain businesses have caught on to an opportunity with this, selling supply boxes costing £300 to "hundreds" according to the BBC.
The Daily Mirror's Mikey Smith sampled the contents of one of these special Brexit supply kits, describing the freeze dried rations contained within the £300 box as "a bit grim".
If you are going to stockpile food yourself then The Guardian recommends that you stock up on things not produced in the UK.
However, you should also remember that while the exit date of March 29 is sooner than you think in a political sense it is also further away from a perishable food standpoint. Don't fill your cupboards full of stuff that's going to go off quickly because you'll get halfway through February and have a box full of rotten food.
Of course this stockpiling might be all for naught as the UK could secure a deal or extend Article 50 to at least delay leaving the EU. However, if that doesn't happen then transport secretary Chris Grayling has already come up with a genius alternative to avert catastrophe, just don't bother conducting checks!
Unfortunately for Mr Grayling and his government, his idea isn't going to work as border checks would be "mandatory" in a no deal Brexit scenario.