A spokesperson for the Department of Economics has confirmed that the root cause of today’s British economic collapse has been pinpointed to the moment when Aldi in Southend opened a second checkout during a busy shopping period. 

Shortly after 2pm on Saturday afternoon, analysts in London’s Square Mile were frantically scrapping around trying to find out why the entire British economy had collapsed in just a few seconds, and at around 2.05pm reports began to emerge about the popular discount supermarket in Southend opening a second checkout because of heavy queues. 

One shopper said: ‘I got a really horrible feeling in my stomach when the store manager asked a member of staff to open a second checkout – I could just sense that the consequences would be catastrophic.’

‘They have eight checkouts in the store. One of them is usually open, with the other seven left dormant as an ongoing sacrifice to Epos, the Greek god of retail.’

‘Ancient legends foretold of ‘a fate worse than Armageddon’ if another checkout were to be opened simultaneously, and green smoke began filling the store as soon as the automated voice told everyone to start putting shopping on Till 3.’

‘When the store associate started scanning items, the foundations began to shake and hordes of dementors started flying out of the dairy cabinets, lifting small children into the air as they went. There was suddenly mass hysteria, and a load of shoppers were forced to abandon their trolley pound coins and run away to safety. Some just didn’t make it.’

A spokesperson for The Treasury said: ‘We were unable to get contingency plans inplace because nobody at Aldi gave us a warning about a second checkout being opened.’

‘All currency trading and stock market activity has been suspended until we can rebuild the basic foundations of our economy, and Brexit will be indefinitely suspended as a precautionary measure.’