Britain could run out of toilet roll under a no-deal Brexit, MP claims

texture from a row of white toilet rolls in cellophane wrapping

An MP has raised concerns in Parliament that Britain could be set to run out of toilet roll in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards used a written question to ask ministers for details on how long stocks of loo roll will last in such a scenario.

Mr Edwards said the government should reassure people that there would be no disruption to the “most basic of supplies”.

He wrote: “To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how long supplies of toilet paper will last in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal?”

Cabinet Office minister Simon Hart said the government was undertaking the "best possible preparation". (Getty)

Cabinet Office minister Simon Hart said the UK Government is working to ensure the “best possible preparation” to support the flow of goods.

Mr Hart replied: “The Government would prefer to leave the EU on October 31 with a deal. If this is not possible we will have to leave with no-deal.

“In the event of no-deal the Government will prioritise the flow of goods at the border while continuing to take a risk-based approach to controls and checks on goods to minimise additional friction.

“Extensive engagement activity continues with businesses, traders, ports and other stakeholders.


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“The Government is also stepping up engagement with key member states such as France.

“We will continue to work to make sure we have the best possible preparation to support the flow of goods.”

Mr Edwards said: “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.

The Prime Minister will find out at the end of this week if a Brexit deal is possible. (Getty)

“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.”

The UK is Europe’s biggest importer of toilet paper and unplanned border changes or custom checks in the event of a no-deal Brexit could cause some serious toilet issues.

Around 1.3 million tonnes of tissue is used in the UK per year, with around 1.1 million of that amount being imported, said The Confederation of Paper Industries.

In March this year the BBC reported that one of the UK's largest toilet tissue importers had already begun stockpiling.

German-owned Wepa said it had stockpiled an extra 600 tonnes of finished product, or about 3.5m rolls, in UK warehouses.

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