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Brexit's parallel world

August 24, 2021 9:39 PM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

.hh4 (Photo by Ruth Caron on Unsplash)The past week has seen a series of news stories which continue to make you wonder whether any thought had been given by the government as to the implications of the deal they negotiated on Brexit. Surely what is happening now is not part of some master plan

The Daily Mail reported British poultry producers that The British Poultry Council have warned that lack of staff due to Brexit could hit the supply of turkeys and see serious shortages this Christmas. One in six jobs were unfilled due to workers returning to the EU after Brexit. which might mean the supply of turkey could decline by as much as 20 per cent at Christmas, as many fear they will not be able to employ enough seasonal workers.

News that McDonalds had run out of milkshakes as a result of a growing shortage of HGV drivers highlighted the Road Haulage Association complaint that there are 100000 vacancies in the industry. Maybe 30000 of the gap may be down to reduced tests for new drivers during covid lock-downs but the RHA state that as many as 60,000 of the HGV drivers in the UK are from the EU with the uncertainty driven by Brexit and future rights to live and work in the UK is thought to have led to many EU drivers to leave the UK, with many not expected to return.

14,000 job vacancies ( 15% of jobs) in the UK meat processing industry, has resulted in Meat industry leaders meeting with the government to discuss how businesses could work with prisons to plug the vacancies.The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers said the industry faces a looming "recruitment crisis" due to Brexit and Covid.

There has been a lot of coverage over the row with the EU about the Northern Irish protocol but quietly in the background changes in the economic relationship are happening . The Irish Central Statistics Office said goods exports to Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) rose by 20% to €6.7bn (£5.7bn) in the first six months of 2021, an increase of more than €1.1bn compared with the same period in 2020.with imports from Great Britain down by more than €2.5bn, or 32%, to stand at €5.3bn in the same period with food, live animals and manufactured goods hit hardest.
Trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has benefited from Brexit, with Northern Ireland businesses now sourcing some raw ingredients south of the border because of the absence of trade barriers.
Goods imported from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic rose by 77% to almost €1.8bn in the first six months of 2021, and exports from the Irish Republic to Northern Ireland rose by 40% to almost €1.6bn over the same period

And just to follow up on our article about creation of a British kitemark to signify products meet acceptable standards, well as forecast the fact we were not ready to implement the separate scheme has seen the government announce a years delay to its starting with EU standards remining in place!

Still there is a glimmer of hope. The government has appointed ex cricketer Ian Botham as our trade ambassador to Australia following recent agreement of a new trade deal which appears particularly advantageous to the Aussies. Apart from his very public enthusiasm for Brexit it is not clear what other qualifications Mr Botham has for the role. It nevertheless was good for headlines and media coverage!