Warning of Brexit food shortages as lorry drivers could ‘give Britain a miss’

BREXIT food shortages could emerge in January and February as many lorry drivers plan to “give Britain a miss”, a former Tory minister has said.

Damian Green made the claim as he discussed the impact of Brexit on his constituency in Kent, including traffic issues, and beyond.

He told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: “A lot of lorry drivers are saying they’ll just give Britain a miss for the first couple of months of next year.

“That could lead to a threat of shortages of parts for manufacturing and even possibly of food and so on, so we’ll have to see what many thousands of individuals take as individual decisions in the first couple of weeks next year.”

Lord Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s former chief of staff, said he believes a deal on a post-Brexit trade agreement is “definitely still possible”, although it would rely on whether or not both sides were “prepared to make the compromises necessary”.

Barwell told BBC Breakfast: “Both sides are going to have to compromise if we’re going to get a deal from this situation. We are now 25 days from the end of the transition period and business, both in the UK and in Europe, have no idea on what terms they’re going to be able to trade with their nearest market from January 1.

“That is a pretty shocking failure.”

Barwell also criticised the Government for its behaviour over the controversial Internal Market Bill, adding it ultimately made negotiations regarding the future role of the European Court of Justice “much more difficult than it would otherwise have been”.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said the talks with the EU are in a “very difficult position”.

Speaking on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme, he accused the EU of introducing “a whole load of additional demands” late in the negotiations.

“It is in a very difficult position – there is no point denying that,” he said.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves reminded the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that Brexit talks were not a game.

She said: “Government sources overnight are saying it’s the last throw of the dice – I just say to the Prime Minister, this is not a game of snakes and ladders.

“This is about people’s jobs, about people’s livelihoods, the Government has got to deliver on the promises they have made and we will hold them to it.”

Meanwhile, former Labour PM Gordon Brown said the UK will face an “economic war” with Europe and America if Boris Johnson fails to negotiate a Brexit deal.

He said Johnson’s confrontational approach will make him the “most isolated prime minister in peacetime history” in the event of a No-Deal Brexit.

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