Brexit Creating Chaos in the UK

Labour Shortages and Fuel Crisis linked to Withdrawal.

Brexit has thrown the country into chaos creating a fuel crisis, economic turmoil, and protests. © Getty Images

In 2019 Boris Johnson promised to “Get Brexit Done” and was given an 80 seat majority to push his deal through parliament after the election. On January 31st the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. It was hailed by leavers as an important accomplishment in making sure the country could move on and transition to a post-Brexit world and experience an economic revival. But it hasn’t gone smoothly.

According to the New York Times the United Kingdom is experiencing a 70s era fuel shortage which has not occurred in the European Union. With economies beginning to open back up and ports being unable to accommodate surging demand, that’s also lead to a shortage of workers. That combined with the Conservative Party policies that severely limited immigration contributed to this. As the Times explains:

Of the estimated shortfall of 100,000 truck drivers, about 20,000 are non-British drivers who left the country during the pandemic and have not returned in part because of more stringent, post-Brexit visa requirements to work in the country, which took effect this year. — The New York Times

While the government has consistently blamed the crisis on the pandemic disrupting everything, that doesn’t explain everything. The fuel shortages were caused in part because the government severely restricted the number of immigrants who could come to the UK, to the point the Prime Minister had to offer 5,000 three month visas to foreign drivers. In fact the gas crisis was so great Johnson had to call on the military to deliver fuel to pump stations that were running dry.

The self-deprecating Prime Minister rather than take responsibility has been repeatedly deflecting blame. First he denied there was a crisis, then claimed the shortages were not linked to Brexit (an argument contradicted by business owners and food producers), then proudly claimed Brexit was doing it’s job by claiming it was shaking up the economy for the better. Wow. The last time I heard a politician deflect so much blame rather than take responsibility was from Donald Trump. No wonder Boris is tanking in the polls.

1970s-era gas lines due to Boris Johnson’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement ©Mary Turner the New York Times

Much like the Republican party in the United States, the Conservative Party has shifted dramatically to the right on immigration. In the process they have alienated swaths of the country and are contributing to the economic crisis happening in Britain. His hard right policy of “control immigration” is primarily responsible for the labor shortage your experiencing in the UK, creating 1970’s-era gas lines that we experienced in the United States. While he promised Brexit would lead to prosperity and economic growth, it has done the opposite. Conservatives are now eating their own words after accusing Labour for so many years of creating an economic downturn. It’s time for the Prime Minister to fully accept responsibility and move to unite the country by welcoming immigrants who contribute to the country’s growth, or going hard right and creating a winter of discontent.

A person that really enjoys writing about food, culture, politics, justice, climate change, relationships, and other interesting topics.