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Britons warned of food supply shortages, price hikes

Saeed Pourreza
Press TV, London

If you live in the England, chances are you’re already paying more for your food. And it all begins here. Every year, tens of thousands of people come to work on UK farms from Eastern Europe. This year, the workforce is already down more than 10 percent. The culprit, farmers and economists say, Brexit.

Since Brexit, the right for EU workers to just turn up in the UK is no longer. The government quota only allows 30k EU laborers onto UK farms now. The Industry says, they need twice that number.

There are staff shortages across the board. The hospitality sector says it’s 180,000 short, meat processors five thousand. Now with unemployment having risen because of COVID vacancies are clearly a good thing. But when there are so many vacancies in so many sectors, in an interconnected economy, there’s a problem.

One problem is in the haulage industry. Plenty of work, not enough drivers. With many waiting in long queues to take their tests which stopped during COVID-19, creating a backlog that snowballed with Brexit, meaning, the industry is now 15 thousand drivers short. Some have offered a substantial pay rise for drivers to lure more people into the job. Experts say there’s a problem with that.

For some industries here, COVID sent thousands of workers home. Brexit’s been a big hurdle for many to come back. The one thing a post-pandemic ‘rebound’ economy needs though is labor wherever it’s from. And as long as this chronic shortage of labor exists, the average Briton, will feel the pinch at the cash-register.

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