Brexit

“a function of economic revival”

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

While Britain is facing a shortage of up to 100,000 drivers needed to supply businesses across the United Kingdom, that's not the only industry facing a labor shortage primarily caused by the Brexit.

Britain's livestock and meatpacking industry is also facing a shortage of up to 25,000 workers according to industry officials who spoke to the New York Times and members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government are now admitting that Christmas will be canceled for some people.

Rishi Sunak says there will be shortages this holiday season, but he's also trying to place all of the blame on the coronavirus pandemic rather than the Brexit.

The chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, acknowledged on BBC Radio on Monday that there will shortages at Christmastime. He said the government was doing “everything we can” to mitigate the supply chain issues but admitted there was no “magic wand.” [...]

Mr. Sunak and other Conservative leaders say supply problems are a global issue largely attributable to the pandemic and not limited to Britain. Indeed, businesses around the world are facing rising energy prices, product shortages and labor shortages.

But the challenges in Britain are acute, with many industries facing a shortage of workers — in part because of the pandemic, but also, many business owners say, because of stricter immigration laws that came into effect after Britain’s exit from the European Union on Jan. 1.

It's true that supply chains across the world are under strain including here in the United States, but there's a key difference between our own economy and post-Brexit Britain.

Here in America, there's a labor shortage for a variety of reasons that are either preventing people from returning to work or making it very unattractive to do so. Britain, on the other hand, is facing an acute labor shortage because the labor they need does not exist in the domestic population at this time. British officials are reluctantly discussing bringing in more workers on temporary visas to ease shortages because there is no other pool of labor for them to tap.

For his own part, Boris Johnson downplayed the nation's problems this morning by saying they're just growing pains during an address to his political party.

In a speech to end his party's annual conference, Johnson, known for his overarching optimism in all things, listed what he called the Conservatives' successes and shrugged off fuel, food and industry crises as "merely a function of economic revival". [...]

"The answer to the present stresses and strains, which are mainly a function of growth and economic revival, is not to reach for that same old lever of uncontrolled immigration to keep wages low," he told a packed conference hall in the northern English city of Manchester.

"The answer is to control immigration to allow people of talent to come to this country, but not to use immigration as an excuse for failure to invest in people in skills, and in the equipment, the facilities and machinery ... they need to do their jobs."

The problem with saying these are merely growing pains is that there's no there, there. There's nothing on the other side of this except more shortages; more "stresses and strains." Moreover, the idea that immigration needs to be tightly controlled to allow "people of talent" to come into the country is precisely why Britain is facing such a significant labor shortages. It's because driving a truck actually takes talent. Britain is facing a shortage of people with experience because immigrant workers are the ones with experience.

Britain's pig farmers have begun the process of culling up to 120,000 pigs because there's not enough workers to properly slaughter them for consumption.