Boris Johnson has warned that supermarket shelves could stay empty in the months ahead, sparking fears of shortages in the run-up to Christmas.
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At a glance: 5 key points
- The UK has been hit by shortages in everything from fresh fruit to meat in recent weeks due to supply chain issues.
- Many have put the issues down to a shortage of HGV drivers and a general shortage of labour in the wake of Brexit and new, tougher immigration rules.
- A high global demand for gas has also caused problems in the supply chain, with meat producers warning that a fall in carbon dioxide supply could threaten production of meat products.
- The government held talks with energy suppliers over the weekend (September 18) to discuss a potential rise in wholesale gas prices.
- The PM has indicated that issues with the supply chain will be temporary, but did not indicate how long the disruption might last.
What’s been said
Ahead of a trip to the United States, Johnson spoke to reporters about supply issues, saying from his plane:
"We’re experiencing bottlenecks in all kinds of things as the world wakes up from Covid.
"It’s like everybody going back to put the kettle on at the end of a TV programme, you’re seeing huge stresses on the world supply systems.
"But you’re also seeing businesses bouncing back strongly."
He added: "It is fundamentally caused by the global economy coming to life again.
"The guy ropes are pinging off Gulliver and it’s standing up, and it’s going to take a while, as it were, for the circulation to adjust.”
The UK has been plagued by problems in the supply chain for several months, with the “pingdemic” initially blamed for a shortage in workers thanks to the large volume of those forced to self-isolate.
The current problems with the supply chain are being blamed on a shortage of labour throughout the supply chain, especially a shortage of lorry drivers.
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