Brexit is hurting the UK supply chain

France Press agency

EU workers’ march causes food shortages and labor shortages in factories

Shortages of transport, waiters or building materials are causing disruption to sectors of the British economy, as it is rapidly recovering from the pandemic. The McDonald’s chain of restaurants does not have juice, and the head of supermarkets in Iceland has suggested that residents cancel the Christmas festivities.

Richard Walker, chief executive of the frozen produce chain, is predicting a “bad second birthday” due to a shortage of truck drivers – estimates range from 60,000 to 100,000 – just as year-end sales begin. Now the shelves are emptied with bread, he gets half his drink, and they cancel 30 or 40 deliveries a day.

The problem, affecting trade in general, is not limited to the lack of adequate carriers. There may be fewer turkeys at Christmas and no fragrant meals. Nandos and KFC, whose success depends on selling chicken products, have temporarily closed stores. Because factories that process meat products do not have enough employees.

Supporters of the UK remaining in the EU attribute everything to Brexit, but it is not the only reason. It is estimated that nearly a million European workers have left, but it is unknown how many have left for Covid. The population was estimated at just over three million and the number of settlement requests over six.

But British Hospitality estimates that 24.7% of employees in UK hospitality companies had EU citizenship before the pandemic. There are 4.49 million people in a sector highly affected by mass displacement. The builders are also awaiting the possible return of employees who left home in epidemic cells.

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Although the march of community members is remarkable, truck drivers’ working conditions appear to be an important factor in order not to be replaced. The pressure of every component in the supply chain on their resource margins results in a truck driver being charged a little more per hour than a supermarket teller.

Isolation requirements in the virus tracking software exacerbated the problem. Sectors such as construction are facing problems of supplying timber, cement, copper, tiles, … which are not limited to the UK. But limiting the variety of products on supermarket shelves is the most surprising thing and won’t have a quick fix.

Boris Johnson’s administration is deafening to those who are asking them to relax new immigration laws. Do not agree to include truck drivers in the category of skilled jobs or grant temporary visas to workers from neighboring countries.

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