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Young adults, men and Remainers 'likeliest to stockpile before Brexit'

Wale Azeez, business reporter

The number of Britons preparing for Brexit by stockpiling food and medicines is on the increase, new figures suggest.

A Kantar survey has revealed that 9% of UK residents have already stockpiled essentials in advance of the UK's departure from the European Union, currently scheduled for 31 October.

This is three percentage points higher than the 6% who said they were stockpiling in August - and analysts say this is the highest level since they began tracking the trend in October 2018.

Kantar questioned 1,144 "politically representative" adults in the UK online between 5 and 9 September 2019.

Its survey also found:

In total, 23% of respondents said they have already stockpiled food or medicine - or are likely to in the near future.

At the TUC conference in Brighton on Tuesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned a no-deal Brexit will destroy jobs, push up food prices and cause shortages of "everyday medicines".

Back in August, Michael Gove acknowledged that there "will be some bumps in the road" in the event of no-deal, but insisted that a secret government report warning of food, fuel and drug shortages under a no-deal Brexit was out of date.

A government spokesman told Sky News: "We work closely with the MHRA, the pharmaceutical industry, NHS England, and others operating in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised when they do arise anywhere in the UK.

"The UK has a high level of food security built upon a diverse range of sources, including strong domestic production and imports from other countries. Consumers already have access to a wide range of food, and this will not change post-Brexit.

"The Government is continuing to actively work with all cross-border operators to ensure they are as prepared as possible for all scenarios as a result of the UK's departure from the EU."