This is an important admission from The Independent, although it lags a considerable time behind some of us in the social media.
The newspaper’s article Brexit food shortages could ‘cancel Christmas’ and last into 2022 acknowledges – in its headline – that Brexit is responsible for the emptying of your local supermarket’s shelves – not Covid-19.
Britain’s post-Brexit supply chain crisis could “cancel Christmas” and continue to cause food shortages well into 2022, industry leaders have warned.
Boris Johnson’s government has been urged to ease immigration rules so some EU citizens who left the UK during Brexit can return and help fill major gaps in the workforce.
The RHA [Road Haulage Association] estimates that up to 20,000 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers from the EU left during Brexit.
Tom Southall, policy officer at the Cold Chain Federation, said Brexit was partly to blame for recruitment problems across the food sector – predicting that it would be 2022 before the nation begins to get to grips with the backlog of vacancies for drivers, pickers and processors.
Norfolk food firm Alfred G Pearce, which grows and processes vegetables, is also struggling with labour shortages, having seen its workforce reduced 20 per cent to 30 per cent down after EU employees returned home during the Brexit process.
Bryan Roberts, retail analyst at Shopfloor Insights, said it would take time to train new workers, even with a major recruitment drive. “Sadly I think things are only going to get worse in the run-up to Christmas and we’ve got a whole load more regulations coming in from Brexit in October,” he said.
Other news media have caught on and are starting to say the same:
ITV News at Ten very clear about cause of empty supermarket shelves. No walking on egg shells in by the reporter. Shortages caused by brexit.
— Simon Lewis🏴🇪🇺🔶#FBPA#FBPPR#FBPE (@simonapcliff) August 27, 2021
It seems people in the UK are finally turning the corner and realising that the way to conquer our differences with the EU was to remain a member state and argue for change (in a rational way, not a David Cameron do-as-I-say-or-I’ll-have-a-strop ultimatum) and not to walk out and end all the trade agreements and border deals we had in our favour.
Neighbour last night apologised for voting for brexit.
The tide is slowly turning.
— Adam Jezard (@jezardscribe1) August 27, 2021
— Helen Bracken #FBPE 🇪🇺 #RejoinEU🕯#FBPA #FBPPR (@HelenTBracken) August 24, 2021
Of course, the shortage of lorry drivers would be over if Boris Johnson and his Tories would only make two decisions: first, they could swallow their misplaced pride and bring in drivers from the EU to cover the current shortfall; second, they should raise pay rates above subsistence level – otherwise there would be no reason for anybody to help out at all.
Looks like lorry drivers are yet another set of low-paid, "unskilled" workers that the country can't actually function without. It's almost like we should stop undervaluing workers and start paying people in accordance with their true contribution to society.
— RD Hale (@RD_HaIe) August 27, 2021
Some employers have seen the light and raised wages unilaterally…
• Two major UK supermarkets have increased the wages of their lorry drivers.
• This is the correct way to fix the driver shortage. There is no shortage of labour, there is a shortage of wages.
— Jon Trickett MP (@jon_trickett) August 28, 2021
… but Johnson and his gang won’t impose these changes nationally because they themselves are not suffering. They don’t care about you and they never did.
So you see now that Brexit was created to engineer the very shortages you are experiencing today, deliberately, by Johnson and his Brexiteer Tories.
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