Coronavirus panic buying is a sign of what could happen after no-deal Brexit
PUBLISHED: 09:38 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:38 31 March 2020
The Brexit transition period must be delayed to help the UK after the coronavirus outbreak.
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The coronavirus crisis, resulting in mass panic buying, hoarding and supply shortages with extensive empty shelves in supermarkets, has inadvertently become a dry run for no-deal Brexit and an unofficial test of resilience in the UK.
I expect to see emergency government regulations continue long after the coronavirus threat is passed if we continue with the planned end of the EU transition period on December 31.
Then we will again see supermarkets emptied of stock when people realise that prices will greatly increase and quality will decrease.
The EU transition period must be extended by a minimum of two years to protect socioeconomic stability and security in the UK.
The dramatic impact of Covid-19 across Europe highlights the need for both collaboration and solidarity across national borders. We need to share information, coordinate efforts for better diagnostics and the assessment of new treatments and vaccines.
If a vaccine became available, we would need an agreed strategy for an equitable distribution of the initial limited supply across different countries with appropriate prioritisation of at-risk groups. We will also need a big coordinated effort to overcome a potential recession.
Giuseppe Enrico Bignardi
Why not mobilise the energy and enthusiasm of our young adults to help where needed in our time of crisis?
Students with lab experience could be helping with coronavirus testing in university labs.
Others could help by putting food parcels together and delivering them to older people or others who are self-isolating.
More could work in hospitals with jobs such as cleaning, portering, administration and contact tracing.
I waste a lot of time harrumphing that newspaper columnists are just saying what I’d already thought. James Ball’s “Don’t turn this into a new culture war” (TNE #187) had a bit of that, plus a lot of what I will be saying in the next few days and weeks. Great stuff.
May I commend James Ball for his truly excellent article last week. He is absolutely right; if the government is trying to follow an evidence-based policy, any criticism must be similarly evidence-based. Only that way can the government be truly held to account.
What a comfort it was to read the interview with Lord Heseltine (“The lion of Remain still has his claws out”, TNE #186). I think exactly as he does. Perhaps because I am very near in age to him – 87 next week.
I have a group of friends, all in their eighties and none wanted Brexit. Why? No doubt because we have vivid memories of the Second World War and the dreadful strictures that followed. The coming together of the European nations was a positive way forward and everybody benefitted.
It gave us hope for the future as groups and societies were formed which created long lasting friendships with our European cousins.
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