Scotland’s Deputy First Minister claimed that “Westminster isn’t working” as many supermarkets are already experiencing shortages. Speaking at the SNP conference, Mr Swinney ruthlessly bashed Boris Johnson and his colleagues following their pressure to leave the EU.
Mr Swinney said the PM and his Government “do not have the brains to match the brawn”.
Mr Swinney continued: “Despite the warnings, against the will of the people of Scotland, and in the grips of a pandemic, the Tories pressed ahead with the hardest of breaks.
“Boris Johnson once spoke of Brexit and the ‘sunlit meadows beyond’, but the reality he has delivered is food rotting in the fields because there is no-one there to pick it.
“The end of freedom of movement, and the draconian clampdown of migration from the EU has been a disaster for the economy – not just here in Scotland but the whole of the UK.
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“Perhaps the most obvious example is the empty shelves in our supermarkets. But staff shortages are beginning to bite across the economy.
“Last month we saw the quite extraordinary news that the NHS in England had to tell GPs to cancel blood tests due to an acute shortage of supplies.”
While Mr Johnson’s spokesman has claimed that people will be able to enjoy a “normal Christmas” this year, fears of shortages are building.
New figures revealed trade with the bloc took a significant hit in July, with exports £1.7billion lower than in July 2018 and imports down £3billion.
Britain is on course to fall out of Germany’s top ten trading partners for the first time in seven decades, according to data from the German government.
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In the UK, big companies including McDonald’s, Greggs, the Co-op and Ikea have struggled to supply products in the past weeks.
Mr Swinney warned: “Every sector will feel the chill wind brought on by Brexit.
“And there is no end in sight.
“The Tories are unwilling and unable to take the simple steps required to fix the problem they have created.
“The UK is facing a winter of discontent and Westminster isn’t working.”