Are Empty Shelves In Supermarkets The Biggest Signal Of A Bad Brexit Deal?

Adebayo Adeniran
3 min readAug 7, 2021

British shoppers are finding things out the very hard way.

Screenshot of an empty Sainsbury’s supermarket store.

The world in which we live is full of signals; Signals of the rise of a new order which threatens to upend the ancients ways and methods of doing things or signals of the impending collapse of the existing order.

These signals usually shape the course of our lives, the destinies of nations, the fate of our politics and economy and everything else that comes afterwards.

The decision by David Cameron to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, was foolish and reckless. The decision by the voters to leave the Union was profoundly foolish and one driven by xenophobia and a clear lack of understanding of the wider world and Britain’s role within it.

Over the course of the 18 months that it took May and Johnson’s governments to negotiate with the EU to hammer out an agreement on what Brexit would look like, we began to see that this divorce was going to be quite acrimonious and one that would have far greater consequences than we initially realized or appreciated.

And we are starting to have an idea of how things might look like during the post-Brexit era, with a few ominous signals.

A few weeks ago, a shopper dressed in spider man costume at a supermarket in South London was filmed beating up a staff member for not having any stock on the shelves. Such is the levels of desperation that people have plumbed, since finding out the hard way, about the new reality, with which they must live.

Northern Ireland, which serves as an entry port for lots of the goods coming to the mainland UK has had to contend with the introduction of Custom checks — a part of the Brexit deal.

What’s interesting here is that, the EU officials have been applying what’s been described as “ checks with a light touch” during this extended period of grace, meaning that the empty shelves we have seen, thus far, in Sainsbury’s…

Adebayo Adeniran

A lifelong bibliophile, who seeks to unleash his energy on as many subjects as possible