Beth Rigby, Deputy Political Editor
Back in 2013, when I covered the Scottish independence referendum, I told the story that the Scots had to pay more for food if they voted to leave the UK.
This was because the cost of doing business in Scotland was higher for companies such as Asda and Morrisons, and retail store managers were not going to pass these additional costs on to British consumers if their Scottish neighbors decided to vote for independence.
It was a story that covered a fierce struggle referendum: the Scottish National Party denounced these comments as scary words. The campaign began to urge shoppers to express their anger by boycotting Asda and Morrisons stores.
Why did they react like that? Perhaps because the prospect of higher food bills has struck unresolved voters.
Brexit Cultural War cannot be reversed. This will go on and on. But politicians should pause and take this into account: the main role of the government is to take care of its citizens and not create unnecessary difficulties for them.
I was reminded of this story this week when a consortium of retail bosses, including Sainsbury & # 39; s leaders, Asda, KFC, Waitrose and M & S, warned their clients that withdrawing from the EU without a deal could result in significant disruptions in food supplies. ,
Perhaps you thought that such a letter would cause a stir in the stores when the public food reserves for the upcoming Armageddon: do not forget that 2018 was the year when people scored 999, because KFC ran out of chicken after a traffic accident on the street its warehouse stopped supplying.
Yet the prospect of empty food shelves seems to have left the British public completely indifferent: the queues outside Tesco have not yet materialized. What about the political class? They were too busy discussing various amendments to the stalled Brexit Theresa May deal this week to even wake up to talk about it.
Perhaps this is just complacency. The overwhelming majority of Britons today have never experienced food shortages or rationing, while the notion of an inconclusive Brexit is still too abstract for us to understand.
We are not yet properly connected with the prospect, and in fact we do not think that it will come true. In the end, we conclude that our political leaders are not incompetent enough to create a situation where food runs out in our local stores.
But it is also a reflection of the cultural war that Brexit unleashed in the UK. Strengthening the views and identities of the warring parties intensified from the moment of voting.
The Leave and Remain elements are in their own echo chambers, striking the drum for “pure Brexit” or “popular vote”, when moderate voices are supplanted.
Even the prime minister is not in the mood to compromise: “Her door is open, but her mind is closed,” so Hilary Benn quite admirably described Mrs. May’s approach to inter-party talks last week.
Thus, the threat of food shortages is rejected either as a regular iteration of Project Fear or as a price worth paying for freedom from the EU.
During the Scottish independence referendum, the public and politicians took such threats seriously, and now they hardly blink. And why would it? When discussions turn into a cultural war, the opposite side inevitably contains irreconcilable values and you should not listen to them.
But one thing that was really worth listening to on Tuesday, no matter which side of Brexit you share, was the statement made by former Cabinet Minister Sir Oliver Letvin on the consequences of Brexit’s inaction for the government.
“If these risks materialize, our party will not be forgiven for many years,” said the senior deputy, his voice split in the House of Commons.
"This will be the first time that we consciously risk on behalf of our nation, and because of this risk, terrible things will happen to real people in our country and we cannot claim that it was someone else's fault."
Brexit Cultural War cannot be reversed. This will go on and on. But politicians must stop and think about it; The main role of the government is to take care of its citizens and not to create unnecessary difficulties for them.
Theresa May does not exclude any deal. Removing this card from her hand leaves her in no danger of negotiation. But do not take public complacency for the right to play poker with their daily lives. Chaotic brexit will cost a lot to the conservative government.
Sky Views is a series of comments by Sky News editors and correspondents published every morning.
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