When you hear the word ‘stockpiling’, the first thought that pops into your head is probably the image of forest-dwelling folk in remote reaches of the US, usually bearded, always armed, with hunting vests, baseball caps, a few tonnes of canned food buried beneath their shack and enough kerosene to defrost Svalbard.
Yet with the prospect of a hard Brexit edging ever closer, stockpiling has become a major pastime of businesses across the UK. The Economist have set aside 30 tonnes of paper to print their magazine, whilst Majestic have secured up to 1.5 million bottles of wine (should the worst happen, I know which warehouse I’ll be looting). Medicines and food are also being stored in bulk. Businesses everywhere have grasped the implications of no deal and are taking precautions accordingly. Isn’t it time private citizens did the same?
With the Parliamentary vote looming there is still time to dash to the shops and grab a few things before all hell breaks loose. To that end, I have compiled a list of things no Spectator reader should find themselves short of in the event of a No Deal. Forget cans of beans and start sourcing your bottles of Chateau d’Yquem 1997:
Cheese – WTO tariffs on dairy products are as hefty as a heifer, ranging from 14 per cent to an eye-watering 68 per cent. Plenty of reports suggest continental cheeses will become a luxury in the event of No Deal. So before the run on Neal’s Yard and Paxton & Whitfield start beating people from their doors with cheeseboards, get ahead of the game and start making your own. And, if you own a dairy, hire some protection. Bigod brie is about to become as lucrative – and fought over – as blood diamonds and cocaine.
Evian/San Pellegrino – a report was doing the rounds recently that said Britain might run out of clean water in the event of a hard Brexit, as the chemical components needed were all imported from the continent. Best not to take any chances.
Chateau d’Yquem 1997 – I’ve checked Majestic’s website, they don’t stock it.
L’Occitane – admittedly, there are other companies in the business of providing high-end toiletries other than this French delight. I just really love their hand creams, and I know you do, too. We can’t turn up for trade negotiations with the rest of the world with dry cuticles.
Guinness – if they don’t find a solution for the Irish border then you may have to grab your cheap Guinness and run. Unless we stockpile well in advance, there’s a good chance we’ll have drunk all ours by the end of the Six Nations, three days before March 29th. Remember to bring a spare suitcase on that trip to Dublin on the 2nd February.
Iberico Ham – The UK currently imports significantly more pork products than it can produce itself. And whilst some Iberico ham’s may seem expensive at a few thousand per leg, at pre-tariff prices they’re practically giving this stuff away. Don’t let your sandwiches suffer.
Le Creuset – well, what else are you going to cook all this stuff in?
Lego/Duplo – to keep the children occupied, and for house repairs should the food riots get out of hand, or if we wake up to find Jeremy Corbyn in No.10.
Montblanc pens and ink – lest you resort to writing in chalk on the walls to document this period in history like a neanderthal. I know Remainers say we’re all regressing, but some standards need maintaining even in the frenzy of no deal.
1960 Porsche 356 – They said the German car manufacturers would never allow us to crash out, as our business to too important to them. As it turns out, that didn’t happen, so now is the time to stock up on them. If you can only afford the one, that’s fine, but I’d seriously recommend investing in at least four. You know, for spare parts.
Hermes silk scarfs – My mother has been stockpiling these for decades now. I’m not sure what they’re for, but they must be pretty damn important as she has so many. My father weeps softly whenever he looks at them; he must be very grateful to her for having had the forethought to amass so many of these life-saving bits of cloth. Probably.
Gas canisters – for the Aga.
It would be remiss of me, at this stage, not to issue a reassurance to readers of The Spectator that the magazine stands prepared for every outcome. We have enough paper and ink stored to keep printing magazines until Rod Liddle runs out of opinions. So at least another 30 years, and surely our government will have been able to negotiate a trade deal with someone by then. Right?