UK might face shortage of food supplies from Europe due to clogged border, say reports

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Representative image
Representative image

London [UK], December 23 (ANI/Sputnik): Thousands of Europe-bound lorries continue being stranded in the United Kingdom despite the agreement reached with France to selectively reopen the border, posing the risk of disruption to supplies of some fresh foods, Sky News reported on Wednesday, citing the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

France closed the border on Sunday in response to UK authorities detecting a new, more infectious coronavirus strain. As a result, thousands of trucks bulked up at the border. While London and Paris agreed on Tuesday to reopen the border to certain groups of travelers, including cargo drivers, if they present a fresh negative COVID-19 test, it is not entirely clear how the drivers are supposed to get tested when the massive backlog of trucks is still there.

"Until the backlog is cleared and supply chains return to normal, we anticipate issues with the availability of some fresh goods," Andrew Opie, the BRC director for food and sustainability, was quoted as saying by Sky.

Opie described the border reopening deal as a "good news for consumers," but stressed that it was "essential that lorries get moving across the border as quickly as possible."

According to the report, UK supermarkets have meanwhile advised customers to shop as normal, although two large chains -- Tesco and Sainsbury's -- have warned about possible shortages of such products as lettuce, cauliflowers and citrus fruit in the case if the UK-EU cargo flow is not restored in a timely manner. (ANI/Sputnik)