Roll Britannia: UK is warned toilet paper supplies may not withstand no-deal Brexit

Tissue manufacturer says border delays and panic buying could threaten supply

Some toilet paper supplies might not withstand a no-deal Brexit, a manufacturer has suggested. File photograph: Getty Image

Some toilet paper supplies might not withstand a no-deal Brexit, a manufacturer has suggested. File photograph: Getty Image

 

Some toilet paper supplies might not withstand long-term border delays or panic buying in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a manufacturer has suggested.

Essity, which manufactures the Velvet and Cushelle toilet paper brands for the UK market, said it was developing “robust contingency plans” across its supply chain to cope with a no-deal exit, but warned that stocks were “not unlimited”.

The company manufactures tissue in the UK and said it had built stocks of raw materials and spare parts to ensure supply in the event of short-term border delays.

It is also holding stocks of finished products that are imported or exported between the UK and EU.

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The company’s comments follow Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards using a written question in parliament to ask ministers for details on how long stocks of toilet paper will last in a no-deal scenario.

Cabinet Office minister Simon Hart said the UK government is working to ensure the “best possible preparation” to support the flow of goods, a response Mr Edwards labelled as “farcical” given the lack of assurances.

An Essity spokeswoman said: “As far as possible, Essity is developing robust contingency plans across the whole of our supply chain to mitigate any short-term risks following a ‘no-deal’ or ‘hard’ exit of the EU.

“However, stocks are not unlimited, and some will not withstand long-term border delays outlined by the government or in the event of consumer panic buying.”

Mr Edwards told the PA news agency: “This is the farcical level we have descended to – the British government can no longer even guarantee we have the necessary supplies of toilet paper in a crash-out Brexit.

“It’s already said it’s willing to flush the economy down the toilet, but now we won’t have the paper to clean up after.

“As much as this revelation lends itself to toilet humour, it shows the serious damage a no-deal Brexit would do, even to our most basic of supplies.” – PA

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