January 30, 2019
If you listen to the government tell it, a post-“hard” Brexit Britain will inevitably resemble the post-apocalyptic Australia from “Mad Max”: A post-apocalyptic hellscape where Britons will be forced to battle it out “Thunderdome”-style for access to scare essentials like food, medicine and “guzzoline”.
Sound outlandish? Well, that’s because it probably is. The notion that reverting to WTO rules on trade would cause anything beyond a transient disruption to supply chains is ridiculous on its face. Most of this blatant fearmongering can be attributed to a very effective propaganda campaign we’ve dubbed “Project Fear”. In recent weeks, May’s government has staged traffic jams near would-be border checkpoints and warned that the hit to economic growth will linger for years, if not decades.
Yet, out of naivety or shrewdness, Brexiteer MPs have largely ignored these warnings and continued to oppose May’s deal, despite her insistence that it is Britain’s “best and only” option. So far, the EU has refused to reopen negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement, prompting May’s latest attempt to transform a wave of resistance into a surmountable obstacle by winning support for an amendment that she could then pitch to the EU27 as the only workable arrangement. But like her other plans, this too appears to be mired in conflict.
Fearful of the shortages that could lie just around the corner, both warehouses and UK citizens have begun hoarding food, medicine and other supplies. Perhaps realizing that they have pushed the country to the brink of hysteria, PM May’s government on Monday tried to walk back some of the more outrageous claims, assuring citizens that there will be enough to eat in the event of a hard Brexit, though prices on fresh foods could see a temporary spike. The walk back followed another warning from supermarket chains…