Whitehall says shop shelves will be full by Christmas as experts warn supply ...

Whitehall says shop shelves will be full by Christmas as experts warn supply ...
Whitehall says shop shelves will be full by Christmas as experts warn supply ...

Downing Street sources have indicated they hope supermarket shelves will start filling up again 'by Christmas' despite industry experts warning the supply chain crisis could rumble on indefinitely. 

Whitehall insiders remain confident people will be able to enjoy 'a normal Christmas' with fully-stocked shelves in the shops.

Boris Johnson's spokesman dismissed doomsday predictions from industry insiders, who warned that the days of customers getting whatever they want, whenever they want, are over.

He told the Independent: 'We reject those claims.

'We have got highly resilient food supply chains which have coped extremely well in the face of challenges and we believe that will remain the case.'

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It comes as Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, warned an event delegation organised by the Institute for Government that consumers should expect 'permanent shortages' in the supermarkets. 

Industry figures have pinned the problems on a shortage of lorry drivers and food processing staff due to Brexit and Covid, which has seen foreign workers go home to be with their families and increased waiting times for receiving HGV licenses. 

rBoris Johnson's spokesman dismissed doomsday predictions from industry insiders, who warned that the days of customers getting whatever they want, whenever they want, are ove

Boris Johnson's spokesman dismissed doomsday predictions from industry insiders, who warned that the days of customers getting whatever they want, whenever they want, are over

Whitehall insiders remain confident people will be able to enjoy 'a normal Christmas' with fully-stocked shelves in the shops. Pictured: A barren-looking shelf in Tesco, West Kensington

Whitehall insiders remain confident people will be able to enjoy 'a normal Christmas' with fully-stocked shelves in the shops. Pictured: A barren-looking shelf in Tesco, West Kensington

The supermarket shelf crisis has continued to rumble on amid industry experts claiming consumers should expect to see 'permanent shortages'. Above: Tesco in West Kensington

The supermarket shelf crisis has continued to rumble on amid industry experts claiming consumers should expect to see 'permanent shortages'. Above: Tesco in West Kensington

Out of stock sign in Sainsbury's in Glasgow

New signage warning of products being 'out of stock' have been used in most major UK supermarkets in recent weeks

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New signage warning of products being 'out of stock' have been used in most major UK supermarkets in recent weeks

Addressing the supply chain issues, Mr Wright said: 'It's going to get worse, and it's not going to get better after getting worse any time soon.'

Speaking to listeners at an event organised by the Institute for Government, he added: 'The result of the labour shortages is that the just-in-time system that has sustained supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants – so the food has arrived on shelf or in the kitchen, just when you need it – is no longer working.

'And I don't think it will work again, I think we will see we are now in for permanent shortages.' 

Empty shelves in the water aisle of Tesco, West Kensington. The boss of the Food and Drink Federation has said that the days when UK consumers could expect to pick up nearly whatever product they want whenever they want from supermarket shelves are over

Empty shelves in the water aisle of Tesco, West Kensington. The boss of the Food and Drink Federation has said that the days when UK consumers could expect to pick up nearly whatever product they want whenever they want from supermarket shelves are over

Major UK stores, including this Tesco Superstore in West Kensington, have been struck by the supply chain crisis caused by a shortage of HGV drivers, Covid and Brexit

Major UK stores, including this Tesco Superstore in West Kensington, have been struck by the supply chain crisis caused by a shortage of HGV drivers, Covid and Brexit

Industry figures have pinned the problems on a shortage of lorry drivers and food processing staff due to Brexit and Covid, which has seen foreign workers go home to be with their families and increased waiting times for receiving HGV licenses

Industry figures have pinned the problems on a shortage of lorry drivers and food processing staff due to Brexit and Covid, which has seen foreign workers go home to be with their families and increased waiting times for receiving HGV licenses

Earlier this week, Supermarket giant Morrisons and leading economists both warned of impending food price hikes amid a predicted sharp slowdown in economic growth

Earlier this week, Supermarket giant Morrisons and leading economists both warned of impending food price hikes amid a predicted sharp slowdown in economic growth

Mr Wright said that a shortage of lorry drivers is in part due to them moving to online retailers and starting to deliver for Amazon and Tesco.

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