To an unprecedented clamour of outrage from parents across the land, it has been announced by Bernard, Santa’s Head Elf, that because of Brexit, Santa has signed a deal outsourcing the UK leg of his traditional Christmas Eve delivery round to a consortium of couriers comprising of  Yodel, DPD and Hermes from Christmas 2019.

But already an online petition, set up only three hours ago, has been signed by more than 8 million people demanding the government steps in to veto the move and save future Christmases for the kids.

One such signatory, mum of three Doreen Pritchard said: ‘Can you just imagine Christmas morning next year when my kiddies wake up with none of their toys at the foot of their beds? Instead there’ll just be lots of little cards lying in the hall saying We tried to deliver your parcel but were unable to do so. Please call 0800 123 4567 to rearrange your delivery. It’s CHRISTMAS DAY for God sake! How can we do that!’

Another parent, father of four Mike Nelson, agrees: ‘I can just picture the scene on the big day with my four. Assuming any of the presents are delivered even remotely close to my address, then there we’ll all be, out frantically hunting around our own, or next door’s garden, looking under bushes or behind garages and garden sheds to see what, if anything, has been chucked over the fence or hidden allegedly ‘out of sight’ in the middle of the driveway.’

However Christmas expert, James Whelan, is not holding out a lot of hope that things will change before next year. ‘Santa simply will be unable to shift his position,’ explains Whelan. ‘Because of Brexit, and as a foreigner, he will no longer be able to enter Britain laden with packages without extensive six-hour searches, or indeed quite possibly even longer, being undertaken by customs and border control officers.’

‘Given his already almost impossibly tight schedule on the day there just isn’t time to comply and still fulfill the remainder of his global deliveries. He has no option but to outsource.’