Shortages and delivery problems: the British put to the test of Brexit

Wind of panic in Great Britain. Some supermarket shelves are empty, gas stations are running out of fuel… Yet the government assures us that the country is not short of fuel. But supply problems have led to the closure of some gas pumps and the fear of running out has sparked wild reactions among the British who are back to stocking up. All over the country, roads are blocked because of queues for supplies while calls are made to prevent panic buying.

These disruptions are largely due the lack of more than 100 000 heavy truck drivers in Britain, who are preventing the transport of goods across the country. The lack of personnel is not recent in the sector, and if the pandemic has aggravated this problem, Brexit is not innocent in the case, because many European drivers have returned to the continent after leaving the country. ‘Union. To curb the problem, the government is working on a temporary visa that could facilitate the return of European drivers to Britain and which could be implemented as of today. In fact, this visa circumvents the new migration rules introduced post-Brexit to end the free movement of people, an idea that the government strongly opposed until then. But as early as Friday, the UK retail sector warned Boris Johnson’s team: If the truck driver issue is not resolved within ten days, further major disruption would be inevitable as Christmas approaches.

No turkey at Christmas?

For some sectors, such as poultry, the problem of shortages for the holidays is already inevitable. According to the British Poultry Council (BPC), producers have had to reduce their farms because they will not have the manpower to prepare the poultry for the end of the year. “There will be a reduction in UK turkey supply of 20% for Christmas because big companies will no longer be able to bring in workers from Europe, confirms Paul Kelly, producer in Essex. In order to be able to start the farms on time, it would have been necessary to know in June whether the European workforce could obtain a special visa to come and work. ” In August, the fast-food chain Nandos had to close about 50 of its restaurants because of chicken supply problems and KFC UK also had to review its menus.

10 500 visas granted urgently

The Kingdom- Uni will grant up to 10 500 provisional work visas in response to labor shortages, an unexpected shift in These three-month permits, from October to December, should make up for a crying shortage of truck drivers but also of personnel in key sectors of the British economy, such as poultry. This decision to reopen the floodgates of professional immigration goes against the line defended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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