Brexit: will there be a shortage of Christmas trees this year?

Thanks to Brexit, we could face a shortage of Christmas trees this year. Anne East explores why and looks at how to stay ahead of any Christmas shortages.

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Brexit is one reason why food prices could rise. On top of that, Brexit could also mean a shortage of Christmas trees this year. Here’s why.


How does Brexit affect Christmas trees?

Supply chain issues fuelled by Brexit and the scarcity of shipping containers could result in a lack of Christmas trees coming into the UK. 

Commenting on the potential Christmas crisis, Ben Wightman, an analyst at Christmas Tree World, said: “Brexit is looking like it might be the true Ebenezer Scrooge of Christmas.

“There have been rumours of a shortage of food and toys ahead of Christmas mostly due to logistical problems at borders. Last year, there was an issue with the mink cull in Denmark meaning that there could be a shortage of trees being imported into the UK.”

And while there’s still a chance that the situation could right itself in the coming months, the analyst adds that “the early signs don’t look too hopeful”.

The pessimism isn’t unwarranted. Even without mink and Brexit border problems, the UK is short of around 100,000 HGV drivers, according to the Road Haulage Association

So, even if there’s no shortage of yuletide greenery (either real or plastic), the trees will need to be distributed from warehouses to stores or directly to consumers. If there are no hauliers and drivers to do that, many of us may have to rethink what we put the presents under. 


How to avoid Brexit Christmas shortages

The answer is not stockpiling.

Instead, like most things, it comes down to preparation. Here are three tips to help you bypass Brexit barriers and ensure Santa Claus still comes to town.

1. Make a list (and check it twice) 

A list is always helpful, no matter how good (you think) your memory is. From food to gift ideas, putting it down on paper clarifies what you need and avoids waste.

2. Buy as you go

Thanks to Brexit and other factors, this is probably not the year to try spontaneity. And while it might feel too early to think about buying Christmas presents and decorations, it’s a surefire way to avoid those ‘out of stock’ messages.

Buying early also means you can spread the cost so that you don’t end up overspending in a panic. Plus, if you’re trying to reduce your spending, read our article offering four festive tips for Christmas on a budget. 

If it’s all too much to think about right now, perhaps just consider the necessities. You could focus on gifts for immediate family and food you can store in the freezer. 

3. Focus on what’s really important

If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it’s to focus on what’s most important. With that in mind, Christmas trees, presents, and decorations are very much in the ‘nice to have’ category. So rather than fretting about potential shortages, try to make the most of being at home with friends and family. It’s what Christmas is all about after all. 

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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