Post-Brexit supply woes due to lack of drivers

The UK is suffering from a shortage of lorry drivers, partly because about 20,000 Eastern European drivers have left the country since Brexit. The resulting empty shelves in British supermarkets have been impossible to overlook in recent weeks. Commentators take very different views as to whether Brexit was a mistake or a blessing in this respect.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Brexit's hefty price tag

It was clear that Brexit would cause turmoil on the British labour market and this will continue for some time, complains The Guardian:

“One problem, as businesses warned well in advance, is that migrants were not generally working in dream jobs, surrounded by unemployment. The tasks they did, and the conditions under which they worked, might not appeal to British workers. There might not be slack in the labour market to be taken up. In some fields - haulage, for example – there are also limits to how quickly new recruits can be trained and licensed. ”

Daily Mail (GB) /

An end to wage dumping

In the medium term this will lead to fairer pay for British workers, writes the Daily Mail enthusiastically:

“Isn’t this a cause for celebration? The low wages of lorry drivers were kept down by the plenitude of East Europeans prepared to work for poor pay. The same effect was felt across the British industry. It was one reason why many people voted Leave. Having fewer East European drivers will entail shortages in the short term. That in turn will lead to employers (who have benefited greatly from cheap labour) raising pay rates. And that will in due course attract more home-grown people to lorry driving.”