Soldiers face spending Christmas driving food trucks to stop Brits being plunged into a "winter of discontent" without turkeys.
Hundreds of squaddies are set to be used by the government to plug the shortage of 100,000 delivery drivers that has been plaguing the UK for months, senior Westminster sources have revealed.
One insider said about the emergency plot to extend into Christmas the Military Assistance to Civilian Authorities order, which will allow troops to be used as truckers: "MACAs are required periodically. One of the functions of the Armed Forces is resilient to all types of threat.
"If it is needed for longer we would look at a new extension to this one."
Around 200 soldiers have already been at the wheels of fuel tankers amid Britain’s petrol pump crisis.
The MACA used to convert them into HGV drivers was only issued for 30 days, and runs out at the start of next month.
An extension would allow hundreds of troops to be used again as truckers to ship festive favourites to supermarkets.
It comes as figures show millions of shoppers have been unable to buy essential foods in the past two weeks.
New statistics from the Office of National Statistics said around one in six Brits have been facing supermarket shelves stripped of staples by panic buying ahead of Christmas.
A survey also showed consumers are now "worried" or "very worried" Britain’s creaking supply chain will leave them unable to get hold of festive favourites including turkeys, pigs-in-blankets, party food, booze – and even Christmas trees.
Despite Brits being battered by a string of other crises including soaring energy prices, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has astonishingly declared it is not his job to "fix every problem in business" caused by Covid and Brexit.
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