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‘Nightmare’ Christmas predicted with UK shortages set to ‘last for months’

Boris Johnson admitted he has known for months that the UK’s haulage industry was in trouble, as he indicated the supply chain problems besetting the economy could continue until Christmas.

On the opening day of the Tory Party conference in Manchester, the Prime Minister insisted the fuel crisis is “abating” despite continuing reports of long queues for petrol in some parts of the country.

However, he acknowledged the UK economy is facing “stresses and strains” as it moves away from the “broken model” which, he said, had been rejected by voters in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The HGV driver shortage and labour supply issues will have a major impact on the availability of turkeys, and beer could also be affected.

A ‘challenging’ winter

Rishi Sunak has said the government is “determined to do what we can” to mitigate the impact of the ongoing fuel supply crisis and supply chain issues.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Sunak said he could make no guarantees about Christmas being unaffected by the issues, but that the UK could still think about the future with “a renewed sense of confidence and optimism”.

Sunak said millions of families are facing a “challenging” winter and that current supply issues could continue for months.

He said: “These shortages are very real. We’re seeing real disruptions in supply chains in different sectors, not just here but around the world.

“We are determined to do what we can to try to mitigate as much of this as we can.”

The Government has claimed that demand for fuel has stabilised and there is now more being delivered than sold, but that some parts of the country still face challenges.

Beer could be in ‘short supply’

This comes as a retail analyst has warned that labour supply issues and the HGV driver shortage will lead to a ‘nightmare’ Christmas, with many consumer goods in short supply.

Speaking to the Mirror, Retail analyst Clive Black of Shore Capital also predicted that beer and carbonated soft drinks could be in ‘short supply’ due to CO2 shortages

He said: “I expect Christmas will be a nightmare. Shortages of labour have meant businesses have not laid down the same number of turkeys or planted the same number of crops.

“The HGV driver shortage is compounding the problem. A lot of people eating on Christmas Day will be asking, ‘What the hell is this?

“Equally if the CO2 problem does not settle, expect beer and carbonated soft drinks to be in short supply – and a lot more expensive.”

Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband said: “It is Conservative complacency that has led to the fuel crisis, energy costs crisis, and supply chain crisis our country is experiencing, with ministers ignoring warnings from businesses and failing to plan ahead.”

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