Britons are being warned to prepare for a less boozy Christmas than normal due to the impact of supply disruption and driver shortages on wine and spirit supplies.

In a written submission to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said rising costs and supply chain chaos were severely hampering deliveries.

Almost fifty firms signed the letter, including European giants Pernod Ricard and Moet Hennessy.

Imports are proving especially difficult to source, said the WSTA, and taking up to five times as long to arrive as a year ago.

Describing Christmas as a critical time for the industry, the letter said “Unless urgent action is taken, we will fall deeper into delivery chaos”.

Food distributors, meanwhile, warned MPs that choices might also be restricted this Christmas because of supply chain issues.

Questioned by the Transport Select Committee, Shane Brennan, head of the Cold Chain Federation, said: “What we’re having to do is strategically scale that [deliveries] back, in order to basically meet the promise that there will be the stuff you expect to see on the shelves, but not necessarily all the extras.”

As an example, he said rather than the next day it was taking two or three days for fresh food arriving at UK ports to be delivered while frozen food would take up to six days.

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