The various shortages being reported separately every day are actually, generally, due to Brexit and particularly the Government policy of refusing to provide visas to EU citizens to do various kinds of work. The delays at the borders, caused by Brexit are also to blame. These will get worse rather than better.
Interestingly, many of these shortages do not apply to Northern Ireland, which remains in the EU Single Market.
Latest Government statement on the UK labour Shortages 2021
“The British people repeatedly voted to end free movement”. However, when was this ever on a ballot paper? Did you vote for any of these shortages?
Shortages being publicised
- Lorry drivers
- Meat producers
- Farm crops going unpicked
Lack of Lorry drivers
The greatest problem is the shortage of Lorry drivers, there has been a shortage for years but the sudden disappearance of 14 -25000 EU drivers, with only 600 returning, has made a huge difference.
There has been a shortage for years with reducing pay differentials and the average of drivers increasing, but there was a lacking of planning.
Covid and Brexit caused EU drivers to move back to the EU. The Government changed the Tax rules with IR35 to make the UK less desirable to EU citizens.
Companies and drivers based in the EU don’t want to waste time driving across the channel with the delays caused by paperwork that didn’t previously exist, and due to get worse in October and January with Import controls being implemented in addition to the existing Export controls.
The Home secretary refuses to offer visas as she doesn’t believe that lorry driving is a skilled job despite the costly training required.
The supermarkets are now poaching drivers from the haulage companies with ‘Golden handshakes’ and bidding higher than each other.
Lack of pickers in the fields
Again, the refusal to provide sufficient short term visas to EU citizens means a drastic drop in the number of workers to pick vegetables and flowers, which have been left to rot.
Staff shortages in the Hospitality sector
Many pubs and restaurants, particularly in tourist areas are closing for an extra day or two per week due to the lack of staff. Again there have been problems for years, but they have been suddenly made much worse over recent times.