Boris Johnson warns of empty supermarket shelves Brighton News

BORIS Johnson has warned the British public to expect empty shelves as Christmas approaches, as he said the economy was in a “period of adjustment” after Brexit.

On the opening day of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the Prime Minister insisted the fuel crisis ‘finally subsided’ after days of long queues and dry petrol stations .

But he has repeatedly declined to say whether shortages across the economy – due to a lack of truck drivers and other workers – would be resolved in time for the holiday season.

In an interview with the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Johnson admitted that he had known for months about the looming crisis in the transport industry.

READ MORE: RECAP: Fuel queues continue across county for Day 10

He insisted, however, that he would not fill the gaps in the labor market by pulling “the great marked lever of uncontrolled immigration” to let in more foreign workers.

Foreign Minister Liz Truss insisted on the fact that the Prime Minister could not be held responsible for empty shelves because he was not “responsible for what is in the stores”.

Mr Johnson’s warning came, as dozens of military drivers were scheduled to hit the roads for the first time Monday as part of Operation Escalin, to supply gas stations.

The prime minister said it was just a “precaution”, but the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said there were still severe shortages in parts of the country.

PRA Chairman Brian Madderson said that while the crisis was ‘virtually over’ in Scotland, the North and the Midlands, more than one in five stations in London and the South East were down. fuel.

Meanwhile, companies – from hospitality to manufacturing – have continued to call on the government to be on the shortage occupations list so they can bring in the workers they need from overseas.

In his BBC interview, Mr Johnson insisted on a warning from Chancellor Rishi Sunak that problems in the global supply chain meant shortages could continue until Christmas.

The Prime Minister replied, “Rishi is always right in everything he says”, before adding hastily: “It depends on how you interpret what he says.

Pressed again afterwards on the prospects for Christmas during a visit to a youth center, he only claimed that it would be “considerably better” than last year when the festivities were largely canceled because of the Covid.

Mr Johnson acknowledged that the economy was facing “strains and strains” as it moved away from the “broken model” which he said was rejected by voters in the referendum on the 2016 Brexit.

Asked about a warning in June from the Road Haulage Association that a major crisis was brewing due to the driver shortage, he said he was aware of the problems “long before that date”.

“They have been a chronic feature of the operation of the trucking industry,” he told the BBC, adding that the way to get more drivers was to make sure they were being paid decently.

He said: “There will be a period of adjustment, but that’s what I think we need to see.”

He added, “We need to make sure people get to streaming as fast as possible.

“When people voted for change in 2016, when they voted for change again in 2019 like they did, they voted for the end of a broken model of the UK economy that relied on low wages, low skills and chronic low productivity. We’re moving away from that.

“The way forward for our country is not simply to pull the great marked lever of uncontrolled immigration and allow large numbers of people.”

The government has agreed to grant 5,000 temporary visas to truck drivers and 5,000 to poultry workers in an attempt to address specific shortages.

However, UK Chambers of Commerce chief executive Shevaun Haviland said businesses were under “enormous pressure” and urged ministers to go further to support them during the transition period.

“We asked them to include certain sectors on the lists of shortage occupations. We are absolutely not asking for uncontrolled immigration, ”she told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend.

“What we know our businesses need are very industry specific changes put in place. It comes from care, hospitality, manufacturing and construction. We know that we are in a period of transition, we have to go through this period of transition. ”

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This notice was published: 2021-10-03 18:17:03

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