With under a month until Brexit day on 29 March, Jersey Chamber of Commerce has advised that retail supplies, in particular fresh produce, could be disrupted.
Chamber president Eliot Lincoln said that Islanders should think about what ‘essential supplies’ they might need in the case of a ‘day one no-deal’ and plan as they would for a long bank holiday weekend.
‘Though there might well be a deal before 29 March, if we do end up with day one no-deal, there may be implications for the Island’s supply chain,’ he said. ‘[This] could cause a reduction in the range of retail products available including fresh produce.
‘Therefore, we want to encourage consumers to think about what essential supplies they might need in the event of day one no deal, possibly including sanitary products, baby food and store-cupboard favourites.’
He added: ‘I think the message for consumers is to think sensible planning, as you would before a long bank holiday period.
‘Working together with government and our many Chamber members within the shipping, freight and retail sectors, we all agree that we should be thinking ahead and should all act responsibly by being well prepared.’
Mr Lincoln added, however, that he believed the Government of Jersey has prepared well for Brexit.
‘We have been impressed by the level of government planning taking place and the thinking that has gone into contingency and emergency planning that may come from a possible day one no-deal,’ he said.
External Relations Minister Ian Gorst endorsed Chamber’s comments.
‘Jersey’s government supports the advice from the Chamber of Commerce, who have suggested that Islanders take practical steps to prepare for possible freight hold-ups in case of a no-eal Brexit,’ he said.
‘Any delays in fresh produce arriving in the Island should be temporary, and ferry disruption is not unusual during the winter.
‘Their advice, to prepare as you would for a bank holiday weekend by ensuring adequate stocks of essential supplies, is sensible.’
The majority of Jersey’s freight arrives from Portsmouth, large quantities of which arrives in the UK from the EU via Dover.
The company which operates the port of Portsmouth was contacted for comment. Last month Port of Dover chief executive Doug Bannister said he expected minimal disruption to supply chains, even in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
He added, however, that there was uncertainty over the matter and he was unsure about Portsmouth’s ability to cope with any delays.