As It Happens

Meet one of the worried Brits stockpiling goods as Brexit looms

Nevine Mann is stockpiling at least two months worth of food at her England home. She's concerned about disruptions in her country, if it leaves the EU without a deal next March.

Nevine Mann is concerned about disruptions in her country, if it fails to reach an exit deal with the EU

Nevine Mann organizes goods at her Cornwall, England, home in preparation of a no-deal Brexit. (Submitted by Nevine Mann)

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Nevine Mann is a Brexit prepper.

She stockpiling at least two months worth of food in her home in Cornwall, England, in case Brexit happens without a withdrawal agreement with the European Union. She's modifying her house so her family will have an independent source of water and electricity.

"The potential implications of a no-deal departure from the EU are quite phenomenal and widespread to everyday life," Mann told As It Happens host Carol Off.

"As a parent ... I can't just sit there and not do something." 

The U.K. is set to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. British Prime Minister Theresa May has been trying to negotiate an agreement with her European colleagues — but it has been bumpy, with issues around the Irish border proving especially thorny.

Nevine Mann, top right, says the potential implications of a no-deal are concerning as a parent. (Submitted by Nevine Mann)

Those like Mann, who are planning for potential disruptions, have been dubbed "Brexit preppers."

There's a Facebook group with over 1,000 members where people can discuss "practical preparations" for a "life after Brexit."

There's also a leaflet called "Getting Ready Together" circulating.

"We can't change a lot of things, but we can be ready for the worst possible outcome, because nobody died from being over-prepared," former police officer James Patrick, the leaflet's author, told the New York Times, which reported on the preppers. 

Prepping for food, water and medicine shortages

On Mann's fridge, there's a shopping list of items to stockpile — including chickpeas, tuna, pasta, rice and Marmite. The family of five is also buying up medicine.

Mann plans on stocking up on two to three months worth of food because she expects delays caused by a potential no-deal will last at least this long. 

The 'stockpile shopping' list on Nevine Mann's fridge. The U.K. woman is worried what will happen if her country leaves the EU next March without a deal. (Submitted by Nevine Mann)

The family has a 1,100-litre water collection tank in the garden and solar panels on the house. But Mann says the family still needs the equipment to allow them to draw power from the panels in the case of a blackout.

She believes there's "certainly a strong chance of disruption to power and water." 

May confident there will be deal

Prime Minister May stood firm Thursday in the face of stinging domestic criticism, saying the U.K. and the European Union could overcome their "few, but considerable" disagreements over Brexit.

At the end of an inconclusive EU summit, May said there would be "tough negotiations," but declared that Britain and the bloc could strike a divorce deal that worked for both sides.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said he, too, was more optimistic than after a bad-tempered EU summit last month and stalled negotiations last weekend.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has been trying to make a deal with EU leaders before her country leaves the bloc in March of next year. (Reuters)

But May was under attack from across Britain's political spectrum after saying she's considering a European Union proposal that would keep the U.K. bound to the bloc's rules for more than two years after it leaves on March 29.

Better safe than sorry

The Brexit preppers have been accused of being alarmist. Mann believes it's better to be safe than sorry. 

"If we do leave with a deal, and we don't need [the goods], then does it matter? We've got it. We'll still use it. There's very little that we're buying that we wouldn't normally eat anyway," said Mann. 

"Anything we don't normally eat ... we can give to a food bank.

"So we've not lost anything and potentially we've gained a great deal, if it does end with no-deal."

Written by Katie Geleff with files from Associated Press. Produced by Jeanne Armstrong. 


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