So-called "just-in-time" supply chains feature heavily in the UK Government's White Paper on the future relationship with the EU. With suppliers controlling lean operating models, with limited stockpiling, the EU economies are used to frictionless trade.
Food is one area where just-in-time is particularly essential, and fresh ingredients imported from the EU by lorry are perhaps the most vulnerable to import and border controls.
In the absence of an agreement on the free movement of goods (if not people and services) following Brexit, commentators agree that it is likely that wholesale and retail prices could increase sharply without appropriate contingency planning.
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Lord Price downplays the chances of shortages of food availability but concedes that prices would probably rise. "If you are suddenly operating on WTO rules (which impose tariffs on most agricultural products) then clearly there are going to be price increases in some goods and the extra demand for supplies from outside the EU will also push up prices