Last year it was Covid-19 altering our Christmas plans but in 2021 its Brexit that could change the festive traditions.

Classic Christmas meal-time favourites like pigs in blankets could be in short supply this year as due to post-Brexit issues.

Brits might find them harder to get hold of this winter as industry labour shortages continue, the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) warned.

A retail industry boss has called on the Government to help solve one factor causing the product shortages across the UK, a shortfall in lorry drivers.

Speaking to the PA news agency, BMPA chief executive Nick Allen blamed the Government’s immigration policies for staffing challenges faced by many companies.

He told PA that on average BMPA members are around 12%-13% short on staff, with one company missing about a fifth of its workforce.

“Some of the pig processors are having to cut down on how many pigs they are processing a week so that’s starting to have an impact back on the farm.

“We are cutting back and prioritising lines and cutting out on things, so there just won’t be the totals of Christmas favourites like we are used to.”

He said the usual demand for pigs in blankets, sausages wrapped in bacon, reaches about 40 million packets, but the impact this year could mean production is cut by a third since there’s a shortage of labour to make them.

Gammon supplies could join pigs in blankets in being affected, he added.

Glasgow Times: Helen Dickinson. (PA)Helen Dickinson. (PA)

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The UK faces a shortfall of 90,000 HGV drivers and it is consumers who will ultimately suffer for this.

“So far, disruption has been minimal thanks to the incredible work by retailers and their suppliers.

“Retailers are increasing pay rates, offering bonuses and introducing new driver training schemes, as well as directly supporting their suppliers in the movement of goods, but Government will need to play its part.

“We are calling on the Government to rapidly increase the number of HGV driving tests taking place, provide temporary visas for EU drivers, and to make changes on how HGV driver training can be funded.”