?Staff arriving for work at the new Rochdale Waitrose were surprised to find a car park full of Range Rovers and a queue of concerned looking women at the door waiting for the store to open.

“Initially I didn’t know what to think,” checkout operator Pauline told The Rochdale Herald. “Normally the Brunch Rush doesn’t hit until about 10 in the morning, so to have people queuing before we open is exceptional. It’s something we only normally see around Christmas, or on Wimbledon Finals Weekend.”

The unprecedented situation was caused by some careless words by Boris Johnson to the Italian Trade minister as the government begins to posture for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Johnson, Foreign Secretary and Conservative Britain’s favourite brazen opportunist had suggested that Brexit would mean less Prosecco being sold to the UK, which naturally caused a spate of panic buying.

Quickly seeing that a majority of shoppers were visiting solely to stockpile Italian sparkling wine store managers quickly placed a limit of six bottles per customer. Despite the efforts in the face of the onslaught the branch had completely sold out before 1pm with later customers settling for Cava.

By the time mothers visited the shop on the school run the desperation for European sparkling wine had reached crisis point, as Pauline explained:

“I served one woman who came in and bought six bottles of Martini Asti. As I was ringing them through she told her daughter, who must have been about six, ‘don’t tell your friends that Mummy is buying Asti’”.

The store is expecting a fresh delivery of both Prosecco and Cava on Friday, but will enforce a limit of two bottles per customer in place until further notice.