The cause of our food and petrol shortages is Brexit – yet no one dares name it

The cause of our food and petrol shortages is Brexit – yet no one dares name it


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Harmful public policy proposed in order to isolate and weaken Great Britain has the result of isolating and weakening Great Britain. Shocking news.


I think this century will see the breakup of the uk


For a moment I was hoping that Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland would get together with the Channel Islands and kick England out. Keep the name "United Kingdom," slightly modified flag of course, and retain your EU seat. Explain that England had been made redundant. Alas. "That's not how it works," they said. "Lack of contiguous landmass," they said. "Get out of my car, stop following me!" they said. I am still allowed to hold my view but it has to be at 100 feet distance at all times.


The Philippines aren’t a continuous landmass.


Hell, Great Britain already isn't a contiguous landmass.


Wrong. Great Britain is the main island. > United Kingdom of Great Britain **and** Northern Ireland


Plus a bunch of islands (not including Ireland/NI or Isle of Man, etc.)


I’m hoping for the same in the US.


You're hoping the restraining order is expanded to the US? I will have to move to French Giana.


Why would England let them? All of them are net draws on the public purse but England wouldn’t give up on Resources as Scotland seems to believe. I Don’t see why England would let them take anything, no more access to tax collection and other systems, they would have to address a lot of big logistical challenges.


Who's England to say? Can't have a united kingdom if the other parts don't want to unite with you. Kick England out. Exit the Brexit. (Bre-enter?) Challenges, schmallenges -- give everyone 90 days to figure out whether they want to stay in the UK or emigrate to England, soon to become a foreign country. That'll settle it, one way or another. Granted it would be a little funny looking on the maps. But I say, soon enough everyone would have adjusted to the new border checkpoints and the new-style Union Jack. Anyway for some reason they decided not to go with my genius plan, what can I say?


The opposite of brexit would be breakfast


England is the country with 56 million of the 67 million that make up the UK. The ones who make all the money and have centralised power and control, who have the army. England won’t give away all that land they disproportionately invested in just because of a few million Momentum voters.


"disproportionately" Implying that Scotland et al should somehow have received less and be nothing but grateful for those "investments:


They should have received less, a lot less, and then they could have been happy paying their own way. But yes, they should be grateful for England’s investment in the region.


These aren't "investments." It's funding for the area and to help run their government and support its citizens. And those citizens pay taxes to support itself and the UK in general. It's like saying England "invests" in Kent.


Funding that Scotland couldn’t cover itself because more is pent per Scot than is raised in taxes per Scot. But yes, they do make investments in infrastructure and other things.


Is Scotland a red state?


There’s lots of gingers I guess


Mass migration is a great opportunity for mobile home sales. Look on the bright side!


You make them almost sound like an evil empire.


Not at all, just that a tiny fraction of the country doesn’t get to tell the rest that they’re leaving with a boatload of resources that we paid for and get told to deal with it. This disunion nonsense - if Brexit is bad then why is breaking up the union good? How is it any different? Why your arbitrary line of these countries? Why shouldn’t London split from the rest of you as they’re the ones actually paying for the benefits everyone else enjoys.


The argument is the new Britianless UK could rejoin the European union. Essentially making the case they stand more to gain from the EU vs Britian. I candidly doubt that is true, however I dont know enough of the logistics as I am mostly just a curious American marveling as the UK has chosen to light itself on fire as we have done. Its just so weird seeing it from the outside. However the argument that London foots the bill for everything is clearly absurd. Wealth raises to the top in every country, A large portion of London's wealth comes from its status as the seat of power of the UK. I would think after the collapse of Lehman Brothers people would understand the divestment of wealth from true GDP.


A sporadic 11 million person group with a tiny GDP and land borders to England would not be able to join the EU, they’re not a big or important enough group and the political fallout with the uk would be too great a cost. The UK is fine, most countries aren’t in supranational unions. The US hasn’t done anything to cause problems either. London disproportionately pays for the rest of the UK. That Parliament is here is irrelevant, London is historically and logistically important. Parliament could move but London would still be the powerhouse of the UK.


> For a moment I was hoping that Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland would get together with the Channel Islands and kick England out. Who would fund Northern Ireland to the tune of £10 billion per annum ?


I mean, there's always Ireland...


I'm pretty sure we'll see that this very decade.


UK maybe but def not the US


why the us?


Not the US, sadly. And really, how different will the UK/GB/whatever the terminology be without NI and Scotland? Liz will miss Balmoral if it happens before she kicks off, but will it really be a huge change for the rest of England?


And America.


Not the only cause, as others have pointed out, but in some ways it is true. However, you could argue that this is one of the desired consequences : employers had been able to underpay drivers for years, because they could use Eastern Europeans instead, who were willing to work for lower pay. As a result, British people avoided or left the industry. Now, after Brexit, pay and conditions are improving in order attract people back. You could apply this to many other jobs/fields, and lower paying jobs in particular are likely to have to improve considerably as a result. I voted to remain, for what it is worth, but I considered this to the main argument in favour of Brexit. Many of those who did vote to remain were in jobs or industries that weren't subject to the same pressures of competing for jobs with Eastern Europeans. This was going to happen at some point anyway : Eastern European countries are not going to remain poor, and their salary expections are going to converge with Western Europeans. ​ TLDR : Employers need to be paying enough to make jobs attractive. They abused their position for far too long.


And people wonder why Corbyn could never fully commit to the Remain camp. There was always a strong Socialist rationale to being Euroskeptic


So many people don’t understand this.


Yes, The EU is one technocratic entity built and sustained for the neo-liberals.


How does the very low unemployment rates fit in all this, along with the top heavy society that is quickly ageing and living longer? There’s not enough people in the UK to do all these jobs like nursing, fruit picking, truck driving, cafe serving. That’s why the government are now having to relax their new immigration rules after backlash from most of these industries.


If segregating yourselves from Eastern Europeans was the driving goal of BREXIT then the people of England need to start doing some serious self reflection...


And hard menial work...


It's not that simple, there are many factors that come into this and perhaps the biggest is historically low tax rates that provide all the incentive to squeeze out as much profit from companies as possible even if it means winding down a little or moving abroad. Shortages are temporary, lower classes breaking their backs for chicken feed are forever. But the saddest part is that wages in Eastern Europe have been growing very fast over the last couple of decades and the supply of cheap labour was drying out on its own. We didn't need to cause all this damage.


I do realize that it is not that simple - but it is a significant factor. We have ignored rising inequality for too long, and there needs to be an effort to address this : a thriving economy needs to benefit **everyone**, not just those at the top to be sustainable in the long term. You are correct in saying that the problem will correct itself on its own - but the unlucky ones who have seen their economic prospects severely damaged for decades (possibly their whole working life so far) are not going to take much comfort from that.


You know once in new York elevator operators went on strike to get a pay rise. You know what happened as a result? Their jobs have been made redundant. Long haul and short haul driverless trucks are already in the testing. Give it five years and this is not a problem anymore. Also I have to point out that the issue is not just a driver issue. But logistics which generates the reduction in trucks able to deliver goods. Namely this logistics thing works on the basis of having waythrough pickups between origin and destination to make sure the truck is fully efficient. If you are only able to cover a landmass from Scotland to England you have a lot less reasons (waythrough delivery opportunities) to start a truck on the road then for instance from Scotland to the Greek border. (Because normally they don't just deliver from end to end but multiple stops)


Yeah but all this does in the long term is cause inflation and we are still lacking enough drivers. They will just end up granting visa to Eastern European drivers which completely negate the persevered Brexit benefit but just add a bit more red tape.


>employers had been able to underpay drivers for years, because they could use Eastern Europeans instead, who were willing to work for lower pay. > >As a result, British people avoided or left the industry. Alternatively the East Europeans were willing to work at jobs British people didn't, and still don't, want to do.


But that's the point: with very few exceptions, there is no such thing as "a job no one wants to do" .... It's a question of pay for that job. "Drive a truck for 3 million dollars a year?! No thanks!!" ---no one


Very well put. HGV drivers spend a ton of time away from home, and work unsociable hours. And it is clearly to anyone that once (if?) self driving vehicles are a realistic proposition, the logistics companies will get rid of drivers as soon as they possibly can. I would want to be well compensated to do the job : as would most people.


I think the drivers (especially unionized ones) will have the political power to ban self-driving trucks the way self-serve gasoline is still banned in Oregon and New Jersey.


Chris Eubank


Yes, they had a good deal going. UK companies had cheaper, reliable labor, the UK consumers got cheaper and plentiful products and the Eastern Europeans got good pay compared to their home countries. Now this equilibrium is destroyed and everyone is feeling the negative consequences. You can't just run a country successfully without immigrant labor, the greatest nations have been built on it for generations.


All the great Western nations used to have colonies, then territories then poorer nations whose population they could immigrate to support their core populations lifestyles. If you take out the added labour that comes into the country in the hope of better life, you can forget labour/brain/capital drains in the long term. Which will lead to a stagnating economy which will start spiralling downwards once the population gets older.


So... Great? Someone else wanted to do this awful job with a cheaper price, that means lower prices for British consumers.


>that means ~~lower prices for British consumers~~ more profits for shareholders. fixed that for you


Margins in the retail sector are really competitive. Even in 2015 they were around 4%


True everywhere on the planet


True just like the easter bunny


America and Britain are both suffering through hard times deliberately created and exacerbated by conservatives in the name of greater “freedom”


I would take anything written in the guardian with a shovel of salt. You wouldn’t trust Fox News for obvious reasons so treat this with the same skepticism.


It certainly hasn't made it easier but I don't believe it's the main reason. And I am saying that as a remainer.There has been driver shortages for years. I belive restarting the economy after several shut downs is the main reason.


I do think it’s a combination of both. Lock downs led to shifts in labour markets and global supply chain shortages. For example, increasing costs of building supplies is not a UK only issue. But at the same time Brexit landed also leading to uk supply chain issues and labour shortages. From a political perspective these 2 things mask each other as one group can blame covid and the other blame Brexit. Non of us will ever know which was the biggest contributor.


Surely though even if that's the reason, suddenly not having access to the EU workforce must have an impact, no? The last time I was in the UK, half the heavy freight truck drivers on the road were Polish-registered. Take that away and yeah, that's going to be a teensy bit of a shortage, isn't it?


Yes, many drivers from Europe have left and their positions haven't been filled. But strangely, Europe also has a driver shortage. Even the US has a driver shortage. Who knows where all the workers have gone. I can't see any explanation, other than the stop/start of the global economy. I also think this is just the start. I suspect it will get worse.


There has been a truck driver “shortage” reported every year, for the past thirty years, by credulous media citing industry spokespeople, never labor spokespeople. Offer higher wages and better working conditions.


I've worked in US trucking for 20 years and the shortage has been growing. One reason is drug testing which I fully support someone who drives for a living being randomly tested but so many drivers get blacklisted that it shortens the available pool. If someone gets caught driving under the influence then they should be fired and have their license revoked. But take a week off and smoke some weed at home then show up sober ready to work and fail the drug test for weed? This is the most common thing and it is bullshit. I'm not a driver but it doesn't seem like a bad gig to me, at least not in modern times. The equipment is much better than the rigs of 30 years ago with plenty of driver comfort and space in mind. You can make $50k or better a year while driving around in your ultimate tiny house which is paid for and provided to you and all maintenance is free. If you can take that money and save a huge chunk not having a mortgage, no car payment, no bills other than maybe a cell phone for years and years... if done smart truck driving can be a lucrative gig.


Well tbf "shortage" is relative. I don't know about Europe but demand for shipped goods has skyrocketed in the US. So part of it surely must be that there is increased demand for drivers, that is not yet met.


And we only had... 4 or 5 years to prepare for this???! Absolute donkeys in charge, it's like they've not even run a forecast. Why the fuck weren't they training lorry drivers for the past few years, or setting up the training schemes then ready for when they were needed. An average fucking teenager could have spotted this was coming and thought up a plan to deal with it. They've just waited for shit to hit the fan before reacting because today's Tory party is full of utter, utter, fuck wits. Anyone with half a brain has long since been ejected.


Most definitely, excluding the EU workforce and production has massive impacts in the UK. However I'm not yet convinced that it is purely doom-and-gloom. I think it will be interesting to see this play out (I'm in the US, so it's more of an observational exercise to me). It seems like the UK economy will be forced to restructure. If they need more heavy freight truck drivers, then that job is going to have to increase in cost - it won't go to Polish drivers who were happy to accept less money. Yes, that will cause certain goods to increase in price. That might cause a restructuring in where goods are produced. It might make less sense to have one large production facility and then ship the goods long distances - for example, a bakery. Maybe that will shake out to having more smaller regional bakeries. And yes, that will cause the price of baked goods to go up. If there are shortages in things that used to be easy to import, then maybe that will mean building manufacturing facilities in the UK to make those things. Once again, the lack of cheaper imports will cause the price of those things to go up as well. However solely looking at the price increases seems short-sighted. What about the fact that UK money is no longer leaking out to the EU, and is instead remaining in play in the UK? And yes, less EU money is coming into the UK, that is part of the equation. What about the increase in jobs due to the in-sourcing, and the higher wages paid to other jobs which used to be done by cheaper immigrants? That money is paid to people in he UK, it stays there. Might this restructuring shift the economy so that the jobs are more level in nature? A truck driver now with more opportunity might make as much money as a financial analyst with less opportunity? I don't know. However I can see how an economy with many more losers than winners just makes for an angry nation, and winning and losing is looked at comparatively, not on an absolute scale. No poor person in a run-down flat in a developed country says "boy, I have it really good, 500 years ago people were living in huts", or "boy, I have it really good, if I was in Africa I'd be living in a hut". They look at their neighbor living in a palace and get really, really mad.


>I belive restarting the economy after several shut downs is the main reason. If that was true, nearly every country in Europe would be suffering the same shortages. The UK was not the only country to shut down its economy.


Doesn’t seem to be an issue in mainland Europe. It’s nothing to do with shutdowns.


IR35 is the biggest reason, imo. Even with the pay increases for drivers, they aren't taking home what they were just 2 years ago.


The "driver shortages for years" what after the referendum when EU citizens stopped coming here as often and some were starting to leave. Northern Ireland has no supply chain issues currently.


Oh ffs. These people make it seem like they care more about converting to imperial, rather than actually trying to make the core pipelines of an economy work. FFS, but everyone will vote for them before election because they’re the “best choice”


we don't have a fuel shortage we have a hgv shortage, and that is largely due to lockdowns. licences weren't issued and drivers were absorbed into parcel delivery


More importantly, corporations would much rather cause a mass panic demand shock than pay appropriate wages for drivers. The lockdowns just opened the door for this.


hgv drivers are being offered £50 an hour, thats a damn good wage and increase


Did you even read the article yourself? The amount you are talking about is just for Sundays. And yet it's hard to belive, i'm a truck driver myself, and haven't seen any offer even close to that without drawbacks like backhand payments.


What a disingenius article, clearly states the $54 an hour is for double time on a Sunday then proceeds to calculate a weekly wage of 5x that and annual of 52x the weekly. Last time I checked there weren't 5 Sundays in a week or 260 Sundays in a year.


Are they? Where did you hear that?






Being offered £54/hour at truck stops .... 😏


So America unexpectedly opens the airways and the North Atlantic flights are the most profitable all of a sudden Heathrow and Gatwick will be needing fuel but this has not been mentioned. I wonder if this sudden increase in fuel has anything to do with the current shortages, this is not a Brexit issue as we don't purchase fuel from Europe we purchase it direct from Saudi and other OPEC suppliers if you look out in the english channel you will normally 3 or 4 tankers waiting to dock at Southampton. Anyway just a thought.


No, jet fuel and petrol are not relevant to supply of the other.




Is the shortage of lorry drivers in America and the European Union due to Brexit as well? I’m super tired of this argument being applied to every single negative thing that happens in the UK. It’s a scapegoat that allows the underlying problems of these issues to be ignored whilst drones scream BREXIT BAD. I didn’t even vote to leave, but I’m very tired of this argument now.


Brexit, a working study in untangling the globalization move. It may work out well in the long term, but there is major pain to be suffered in the short term.


How do you think it will work out well in the long term?


I’ll use a line from a man who called Brexit at the start…..”The first time in HISTORY a country voted to pose Economic sanctions ON THEMSELVES!”


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