People In England Stockpile Food And Necessities As No Brexit Deal Draws Closer

Hearkening back to the Second World War, people in England are stockpiling food and preparing for the worst as the potential grows for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union without a deal.

British Members of Parliament are widely expected to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's European Union departure agreement in a vote on Tuesday. A defeat would increase the odds of Britain leaving the continental trade pact with no deal, raising the spectre of customs checks, import delays and tariffs imposed as early as March 29.

Britain imports about half of its food, so potential delays at the border are leading some residents and companies to expect shortages. A growing number of people are stockpiling goods and medication as a precaution, and the government is taking steps to prevent supplies from running out.

In all, 73% of Britain's imported pharmaceuticals come from the European Union. England's National Health Service, however, can't guarantee the flow across the English Channel will continue unhindered in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"In the short term, there could be delays in importing medicines due to new border arrangements," the organization warned.

Other industries, too, are ramping up stock. Supermarket chains have announced plans to increase non-perishable food reserves. And one of the world's largest food makers, Nestle, said it had boosted supplies in Britain. Industries have ramped up stockpiling to the point where Britain is running out of warehouse space, particularly for chilled and frozen goods.

Residents of England haven’t stockpiled food since the Second World War, when food, fuel and other necessities were rationed as the country endured constant bombardment and air raids from Germany. May has implored MPs to pass the latest deal in Parliament so that an orderly exit from the European Union can occur.