December 10, 2023

Drivers and thugs missing: British farmers in the wake of Brexit

Drivers and thugs missing: British farmers in the wake of Brexit

Peter Alves, president of the Royal British Dairy Farmers’ Association, told Reuters the shortage of truck drivers was having a significant impact. Disposal of tens of thousands of liters of milk is still far from a problem on a large scale – after all, about 15.3 billion liters of milk were produced in Great Britain in 2020. But reports from those affected are increasing.

A dairy farmer in central England alone has had to destroy 40,000 liters in the past two months because no driver has been able to carry it. “It’s dangerous and emotionally exhausting when you’re producing milk and have to pull the plug at the end of the day,” the farmer said. Many farmers, due to their plight, are forced to lower prices. The buyers are then often small businesses that buy the milk at low prices and take it to other points of sale.


Spilled milk on a farm in the UK

The British have been dealing with a driver shortage for weeks

The British economy has been experiencing a driver shortage for weeks – specifically, the country has a truck driver shortage of up to 100,000 drivers. This is mainly due to the fact that many truck drivers returned to the European continent after Brexit. Strict entry rules – and regularly changing due to the pandemic – ensure that many do not return.

However, the government hopes to remedy the situation with short-term visas for several thousand drivers until Christmas. The UK government also denies that a shortage of truck drivers in the UK is linked to Brexit.

The uncertainty surrounding the transportation of milk comes with huge costs and the difficulty of finding workers for farms. Only a third of milk producers have worked on a farm for five years or more. Few Brits apply for a job on a farm. So 42.1 per cent of British dairy farms still rely on workers from the European Union, according to a recent survey by the Royal Society of British Dairy Farmers.

Pig farmers warn of mass killings

And it was this shortage of workers – especially butchers – that eventually afflicted the pig farmers. Since slaughterhouses can no longer accommodate enough animals from pig breeders due to a lack of specialists – which is why space is scarce on farms. The result? The National Pig Association announced Tuesday that about 600 healthy animals that could not be brought to the slaughterhouse have been killed.

Although there have been no mass executions yet, the measure shows that the crisis is having consequences. The association warned that up to 120,000 pigs would have to be culled if no more staff were hired soon. The spokesman said that killing pigs for no reason is too much pressure for many farmers.

A shortage of skilled workers is also behind the fuel crisis

The problem of skill shortages also lies in the fuel crisis that has been under control in the UK for some time. Long queues formed in front of gas stations, as tanker trucks could not or could not deliver to many on time. Supermarket shelves also remained partially empty. The panic and recent hamster buying has only exacerbated the situation.

The British government tried to reassure the population and said the crisis was under control. But the supposed fuel bottleneck, which is actually a shortage of truck drivers, persisted. As an additional measure, the British government deployed the army early last week to plug bottlenecks in the gasoline supply.

Line up outside a gas station in Ashford

AFP / Gareth Fuller

Long queues form in front of gas stations that are still open

Johnson swore to the Conservative Party on the path of ‘overdue’ reform

Johnson called on the ruling Conservative Party on Wednesday for a path of comprehensive reform to strengthen the local economy. At the Torys party conference in Manchester, northern England on Wednesday, Johnson spread confidence despite the current supply crunch: His government has begun a “long-awaited change of course” that will lead to a recovery with “high wages” and “high productivity” in the long run. the long.

Johnson told delegates that Britain faced significant economic and social challenges. No government before has had the “courage” to face these problems. There will be no return to the “uncontrolled immigration” that prevailed before Brexit. Instead, British companies will have to invest in their people and technology. This is the path to “high wages, high qualifications and high productivity,” Johnson said.

Boris Johnson

AFP / John Super

Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not want to return to “uncontrolled immigration”

In his caucus address, Johnson shrugged off the problem of panic buying at gas stations and convenience stores. He promised that the short-term deprivation would be compensated with subsequent benefits.

British businessman disappointed in Johnson

British businessmen were disappointed with Johnson’s speech. The economy has been portrayed as a bogeyman, but the problem is much bigger than that. “We want to pay our people as much as possible, but companies are not an endless sponge that can absorb an infinite amount of costs,” the head of the Iceland supermarket chain, Richard Walker, said on Thursday.

Next year, companies will face significantly higher costs: “We will have higher energy prices, more truck drivers, and more packaging costs.” Many small businesses in particular are at risk.

A representative of the Federation of Small Businesses, which represents smaller British businesses as an association, told Radio Times they no longer feel they have been taken into account by the Conservative Party. The opposition Labor Party is the only party that makes concrete offers to small businesses.

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