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Saturday, September 25, 2021

U-turn is first admission by Tory ministers that Brexit isn't working

Many of us have been banging on ad nauseum for some considerable time on the consequences of the hostile environment for the UK economy and our day to day lives, and yet despite the overwhelming evidence, UK government ministers have not just ignored the evidence, but have used Brexit to double down on restrictions with appalling consequences. Ar last, however, there there appears to be a chink of light, a dawning realisation that things are not all well and that a u-turn is needed.

What brought this on may well have been the sign of people panic-buying fuel in defiance of corporal-Jones-like urgings from ministers to do the exact opposite. We were told that the shortage of HGV drivers to deliver petrol and diesel to pumps around the country was not serious, and yet nobody believed it, not least because we have all spent weeks walking past decimated supermarket shelves, lying unstocked for the same reason. If only ministers did their own shopping.

Now, according to the Guardian, Boris Johnson has reportedly overruled his colleagues and ordered a rapid fix to prevent the crisis escalating. Ministers have met in an attempt to agree a short-term visa scheme permitting potentially thousands more lorry drivers from abroad to come to the UK. That is assuming they want to come.

As I have said previously on this blog, the shortage of up 100,000 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers – exacerbated by the pandemic and Brexit – has also impacted the food sector and other industries, with the British Retail Consortium warning on Friday that significant disruption to Christmas was “inevitable” unless the problem was contained in the next 10 days.

Even the the Office for National Statistics has got in on the act, revealing that millions of people were already facing empty supermarket shelves, with one in six struggling to find essential items. And yet still, Downing Street claim it is a “temporary Covid-related shortage”, also suffered by other countries around the world, that is causing the problem:

The move will be seen as a remarkable climbdown, as Johnson’s Brexit campaign was founded on giving the UK more control over immigration and ending free movement. It is likely that other sectors suffering from labour shortages – such as hospitality – will now put pressure on ministers to grant them exemptions as well.

Under the current system, lorry drivers do not meet the threshold for skills that would qualify them to come to the UK. But the proposed scheme could permit temporary visas, similar to the seasonal workers scheme under which people can apply to come to the UK for six months to do agricultural work if they have a sponsor and money to support themselves.

Perhaps common sense is starting to reassert itself, but whatever the reason, this u-turn is the first public acknowledgement by the UK government that they have got things wrong and that Brexit is not working.
After kicking EU drivers out of the country,'you are not welcome' how many will return? Other countries thru their own media and social media will more than likely know what is going on in the UK and not necessarily 'qualified to our standards will think twice about whether coming here is worth it. Comments like 'Kermit the frog' coming from a 'leader' will make them wonder.
Cannot resist it.Brexit 2016 .Coming over here taking our jobs.
2021.NOT coming over here to take our jobs/It really is a laugh (from twitter).
One recalls previous Conservative short-term fixes to problems which could have been solved by strategic planning. The recruitment of health service workers and bus drivers in the 1950s from the non-white Commonwealth may have eased the difficulties of full employment but increased the potential for racial turmoil.

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