A NEW Scot has hit out at the Union Jackery of the country’s supermarkets as they struggle to cope with the consequences of Brexit, describing them as “the new canaries in the coal mine in Brexit/pandemic Scotland”.

Mark Frankland also criticised the “dogged determination” of most of our media to maintain the Brexit Fantasy Island story they peddled in 2016, accusing the BBC of being a “cowering dog trying to protect itself from the Tories”.

Writing in his blog, Frankland, who came to Scotland in 1977 and runs the biggest food bank in Dumfries and Galloway, said that as the world around us changes, he looked for clues in our supermarkets, where the shelves became newsworthy in the early weeks of lockdown as the Dunkirk spirit became a “stampede to bulk buy toilet rolls”.

“The slow thinning out of the shelves in the wake of Johnson’s woeful Brexit deal has taken longer to reach the pages of the press,” he said.

READ MORE: UK 'ignoring' shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers amid Scottish supply fears

“The main reason of course is the dogged determination of the majority of our newspapers to maintain the Brexit Fantasy Island story they peddled in 2016 ... but they can only hide something for so long.”

He said taking 60,000 EU truck drivers out of the road haulage equation would make it a lot harder to deliver everything you wanted to, and while our Westminster leaders would “spout all kinds of guff about training up an army of great British drivers”, he doubted that any of them had ever had anything to do with a 38-tonne truck.

“To produce a new Class One HGV driver requires many things. A clean driver’s licence, at least four years old. A few thousand quid. No problematic medications. And even when you’ve passed the test, there will be relatively few hauliers willing to put you in sole charge of £60,000 worth of kit.”

Frankland said last week he was delivering to people his food bank works with in Kelloholm, where most of the food they distribute comes through Fareshare. Every week they head up to Glasgow to fill up their long wheelbase van: “Last week they drove home about 15% full. Why? Did the supermarkets have no short date stuff for them to collect? No. Instead the supermarkets had no spare wagons to deliver the short date food to Fareshare.”

The National: Empty supermarket shelves

And, as supermarkets frantically advertised for drivers, he blamed Brexit for the crisis.

“The British workforce is 30 million or so. The other 30m of us are either too old, too young or too sick to deliver for Tesco. The last 18 months has seen the 30m figure shrink by 2m – all those EU nationals who have departed these fair shores and don’t seem overly keen to come back ... Are the Vote Leave team about to throw the doors open to well trained and motivated young Europeans to come across the Channel to get us out of jail?

“Hardly. Instead the immigration goons are throwing Italian teenagers into Yarls Wood and deporting them … Our press seems reluctant to report this kind of stuff.

“The press over in Europe have no such reservations. European papers are filled with all kinds of horror stories about how their young people are being treated at the UK border. They wonder if Britain is becoming the next Hungary. Maybe we are.”

Frankland said flags were becoming an increasingly big deal in supermarkets as they try to pander to their customers.

He said they were struggling to employ people to drive their vans, and added: “Their food is 20% dearer and rising. And their brains are well and truly fried when it comes to what flag they should fly in their Scottish stores.

“Every day their vast car parks are home to fewer and fewer cars, with the exception of the two German supermarkets.

“Their car parks are full. Their prices have stayed low.

“And they are all Saltires.”