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Spending on no-deal Brexit stockpiling hits £4bn, survey suggests

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

Households have already spent £4 billion on stockpiling goods in preparation for a possible no-deal Brexit, new research suggests.

However, the amount spent is £600 million less than in the build-up to the original March 31 deadline.

According to a survey by finance provider Premium Credit, one in five of us has started hoarding food, drinks and medicine, spending around £380 each.

The survey also found that around 800,000 people have spent more than £1,000 on stockpiling, ahead of the October 31 deadline.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK will leave by then, regardless of whether a deal has been agreed with the EU.

If the UK leaves with no deal, businesses predict there will be short-term supply problems, which the Government says it is mitigating.

Similar research in the weeks leading up to the original deadline for the UK to leave the EU found that around 17% of the country spent £4.6 billion stockpiling ahead of March 31.

Of those stockpiling, 74% surveyed said they have done this with food, 50% for medicine for themselves, 46% are holding spare drinks and 43% have bought extra medicine for other family members.

Brexit-related stockpiling is also hitting cashflow, according to the report, with companies taking out credit to cover the cost of insurance and other fixed costs.

Adam Morghem, at Premium Credit, explained: “The level of stockpiling by British businesses and households is well documented, but there has been little focus on the impact this has had on cashflow, which has been quite negative.

“Interestingly, over the past three months we have seen an increase in clients looking to use premium finance to pay for their insurance, and we believe a key factor behind this is the impact of stockpiling on cashflows forcing more businesses and households to spread the cost of their insurance.

“Businesses should also check with their brokers to make sure their stockpiled goods are properly insured.”

The research also found that 48% of workers said their bosses had stockpiled ahead of the March 31 deadline, but half have started to shift goods. Only 25% said they have maintained their stockpile levels.

Just one in 10 respondents said their bosses are currently stockpiling new goods.

Several retailers have already said they have started stockpiling to ensure there are enough goods that can only be sourced overseas available on shelves.

Last week, the boss of Pets At Home revealed the business is hoarding pet food, and Domino’s Pizza said it has started stockpiling toppings.