Minister advises public against Brexit stockpiling

Alok Sharma on BBC Breakfast

Alok Sharma on BBC Breakfast - Credit: BBC

Business secretary Alok Sharma has encouraged people not to stockpile ahead of the conclusion of Brexit talks.

The minister acknowledged prices will rise if talks with the EU fail to reach a trade deal, but said it was not a reason to panic buy goods.

Supermarkets have warned that prices could rise by as much as 5% if tariffs and disruption hit imports.

Sharma told the BBC: “I think if you look overall I think we are talking less than 2% in terms of potential impact, obviously there will be certain products where it may be a little bit more.

“I wouldn’t advise people to stockpile.” 

He also told Sky News: “I’m very confident that actually the supply chains will still be in place.

“I would say to everyone just do your normal shopping as you would do and I think we will find we are going to be absolutely fine.”

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Sharma played down the prospect of trade talks with the EU continuing right up until the New Year’s Eve deadline.

“We have always said the transition period ends at the end of December and we will not be continuing discussions beyond that,” he explained.

“Any deal that we have will then have to go through parliament, so that would really be cutting it quite fine.”

But he added that parliament “can move very quickly” to approve a deal if it had to.

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