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Supermarkets working to be prepared for no-deal Brexit

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JERSEY’S supermarkets have indicated that they are generally confident about food supplies in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

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This week, the government issued a leaflet to all Island households with advice in case the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place, which could happen at the end of this month on the Brexit deadline day of 31 October.

Among the advice provided was for Islanders to stock up on extra food, as they would for an extended bank holiday weekend, due to supply chains being threatened by new border checks.

Three of the Island’s major supermarkets have indicated that they are confident they will be able to cope with any increased demand for food ahead of Brexit day.

Andrew Bagot, the chief executive of Alliance, which runs the Tesco brand in Jersey, said that he was ‘happy’ with how the government had communicated before issuing its advice.

He added: ‘Regarding stock, we do not anticipate a significant increase in demand above what has been suggested and are comfortable with the amounts of stock we carry to meet this demand.’

A Waitrose spokesperson said: ‘We are working closely with the States of Jersey on this matter and continue to make contingency plans for each scenario.’

And a spokeswoman for the Channel Island Co-operative Society restated comments that the firm made last week that indicated they were again building stockpiles of goods.

‘As a community retailer we are aware of the impact a no-deal Brexit may cause to Islanders and we want to be prepared for this,’ she said.

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‘We will do our utmost to make sure the supply chain has as little disruption as possible.

‘In terms of our pharmacies, we are making provisions and working very closely with the governments in both Jersey and Guernsey.’

Tony O’Neill, the chief executive of SandpiperCI – the Channel Islands’ largest retailer – said that he was still waiting to see detailed plans of how the government intends to manage food supplies, including arranging additional freight boats and storage facilities for stockpiling, in a no-deal scenario.

He said: ‘We got a copy of the leaflet at the end of last week, which by its nature is pretty generic. There is a further meeting [with the government] this week. We are still waiting to see “the plan”.’

Further details about preparing for a no-deal Brexit can be found at gov.je/brexit. Alternatively, advice can be sought by emailing letstalkbrexit@gov.je or calling 440401.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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