THE SNP has warned the soaring cost of Brexit and a Tory cost of living crisis could see the UK heading for a “bleak Christmas” amid rising prices and empty shelves.

It comes as the UK’s largest poultry seller warned the price of chicken is set to rise because of additional costs from Brexit and staffing shortages.

One of the UK’s biggest toy retailers has also warned delays at UK ports will result in shortages this Christmas.

The SNP’s business spokesperson Stephen Flynn said: “The UK is heading for a bleak Christmas – as the Tory cost of living crisis and soaring cost of Brexit hits millions of families and businesses in every community.

“With the Tory government slashing household incomes, and businesses warning about rising prices and empty shelves, there is a very real danger that many families will struggle to get by this winter.

“The stark reality of Tory Brexit Britain is that many people may not be able to afford to heat their homes, feed their families, or get hold of presents this Christmas as a result of the crisis Boris Johnson has done so much to cause.

“As UK poverty levels continue to rise, the Chancellor must accept responsibility and take action to tackle this Tory-made crisis - using the Budget to put money back into people’s pockets and mitigate the damage of Boris Johnson’s disastrous hard Brexit.

“Brexit has already cost Scotland billions of pounds – and under the Tories the UK has the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north-west Europe and the highest levels of in-work poverty this century.”

However, Chancellor Rishi Sunak claimed there will be a “good amount of Christmas presents available” this year despite the supply chain issues.

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The Chancellor was speaking after meeting with finance ministers from the G7 group of leading world economies to talk about the problem, with the politicians agreeing to work more closely to solve the crisis.

Retailers have expressed fears ongoing supply chain problems will result in higher prices and empty shelves into December, but the chief executive of the UK Major Ports Group said supply chains were “robust” and “there’s no need to panic”.

A build-up of cargo in Felixstowe has led to shipping company Maersk opting to divert vessels away from the Suffolk port, while similar logjams have been seen elsewhere in the world including in the US.

Speaking to the BBC in Washington DC, Sunak (below) sought to provide reassurance as people begin to think about shopping for Christmas.

He said: “We’re doing absolutely everything we can to mitigate some of these challenges.

The National: Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

“They are global in nature so we can’t fix every single problem but I feel confident there will be good provision of goods for everybody.

“I’m confident there will be a good amount of Christmas presents available for everyone to buy.”

Sunak chaired a meeting of finance ministers on Wednesday as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank convene in the US capital.

The Treasury said Sunak told the meeting of the “importance of global co-operation to ensure that supply chains are more resilient as the world emerges from the pandemic”.

Speaking after the meeting, Sunak said: “Supply chain issues are being felt globally – and finance leaders from around the globe must collaborate to address our shared challenges.

“Today we have collectively agreed to work closely over the coming months – and together we will build a strong and resilient recovery.”