Brexit now at a 'farcical level' as toilet roll company admits stock could struggle

PUBLISHED: 13:27 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:37 08 October 2019

An electronic display showing a 'Get ready for Brexit' government advert in London. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

An electronic display showing a 'Get ready for Brexit' government advert in London. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

An opposition MP has accused Brexit of hitting a 'farcical level' as a toilet roll business admits its supply might struggle with panic buying.

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Manufacturer Essity, which produces the Velvet and Cushelle toilet paper brands for the UK, said it had "robust contingency plans" in place for Brexit but said "stocks are not unlimited" and "some will not withstand long-term border delays outlined by the government or in the event of consumer panic buying."

It led Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards to ask ministers for details on how long it believed stocks of loo roll will last in a no-deal scenario, only for the government to skirt around the issue, claiming it was looking to ensure there will be a "flow of goods".

Edwards asked: "How long supplies of toilet paper will last in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal?"

Cabinet Office minister Simon Hart simply said the UK government is working to ensure the "best possible preparation" to support the flow of goods.

He responded: "In the event of no-deal the government will prioritise the flow of goods at the border while continuing to take a risk-based approach to controls and checks on goods to minimise additional friction.

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"Extensive engagement activity continues with businesses, traders, ports and other stakeholders.

"The government is also stepping up engagement with key member states such as France.

"We will continue to work to make sure we have the best possible preparation to support the flow of goods."

Edwards told PA that the government's Brexit strategy was now at a "farcical level".

He said: "This is the farcical level we have descended to - the British government can no longer even guarantee we have the necessary supplies of toilet paper in a crash-out Brexit.

"It's already said it's willing to flush the economy down the toilet, but now we won't have the paper to clean up after.

"As much as this revelation lends itself to toilet humour, it shows the serious damage a no-deal Brexit would do, even to our most basic of supplies."

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