No matter how Brexit is dressed up, there’s going to be disruption, especially at the supermarket.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, echoing Dad’s Army Corporal Jones, advises “Don’t panic, don’t panic”.

It seems he “isn’t concerned” about shortages or price hikes. He guarantees we’ll still be able to enjoy a post -Brexit BLT sandwich. Then again, perhaps Mr Raab isn’t the most convincing source of reassurance. Even in a low wattage cabinet, he sheds a dim light.

It’s not long since he admitted ignorance of the “full extent” of the importance of the Dover to Calais crossing for British trade. Mr Raab must be the first Foreign Secretary whose world view doesn’t extend as far as Kent.

To no-one’s surprise, Mr Raab’s confidence is not widely shared. Some of his colleagues have advised supermarkets to stock up on essential foods. The British Retail Consortium has cautioned about panic buying and stockpiling.

Three of our largest supermarkets are already rationing some items; that only goes to show, we’re a pretty selfish lot.

Mrs Thatcher, ever the grocer’s daughter, was proud of her “prudent” stockpile of tinned food. When push comes to shove, we don’t give a monkeys about depriving the poor and vulnerable who can’t indulge in bulk buying. It doesn’t take much to provoke mass stripping of shelves and Christmas brings out the worst in us.

We go off our trolleys when supermarkets close for a single day. Seasonal goodwill is in short supply when trolleys are weaponised in the Christmas Eve demolition derby. Things will be worse this year, as the greedy and self-serving pillage the shelves in preparation for a post – Brexit s**t-storm and a shortage of Andrex.

We’ve already had a foretaste. Earlier lockdowns led to, excuse the expression, runs on toilet paper. Life imitated art as Janey Godley’s joke about “stockpiling pasta” became a reality.

In his more fanciful moments, Mr Johnson tries to reinvent himself as Winston Churchill and invoke the “Blitz spirit”. Certainly, the wartime generation could teach us a thing or two about coping with genuine shortage.

In both world wars, Britain’s food supply was seriously threatened by German U boats. Should the Channel ports turn into post- rexit lorry parks, we might have to dust down granny’s wartime cook books. Her generation experienced shortages of common foods including white bread, cheese and margarine and their replacement by “National” substitutes.

The “National Loaf”, grey in colour with the texture of sawdust, was so unpopular it was nicknamed “Hitler’s secret weapon”. The Government’s propaganda machine attempted to stiffen resolve, so to speak, by claiming National bread had aphrodisiac qualities.

Spam, a wartime staple, is still with us. Perhaps one of Mr Johnson’s fabled trade deals will see the return of 1940s snoek, South African snake mackerel, to his sun-dappled uplands. In those dark days, families didn’t need encouragement from the Beechgrove gardeners to grow their own. Potatoes and carrots substituted for many things, including pastry. Carrot cake, started life as a cheap wartime sponge pudding.

French and German civilians were even more creative. Peapods were the main ingredient of a cheeky little 1942 Chateau Ersatz. However, Le Petit Parisien newspaper warned against having a glass or two to wash down a cassoulet au chat. Propaganda leaflets dropped by allied aircraft, wiped out the European shortage of toilet paper. Present day coffee shops might experiment with exotic wartime flavourings and use, acorns, beechnuts and coal tar. Vegan menus could feature rice shaped as “lamb chops”, complete with wooden “bone”.

Our grandparents’ generation coped because they were resilient and inventive. We modern softies are about to take pot luck with Brexit. Time will tell if the Brexiters’ land of bread and honey materialises. Let’s just hope we haven’t bitten off more than we can chew and have to eat humble pie, oven ready or not.

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