Brits Turn on Brexit as Fuel, Food & Labor Shortages Worsen. Only 18% Think it's Going Well
With fuel, food, and labor shortages worsening, and a mountain of new customs forms to fill out, even those that originally championed Brexit are rethinking their support. According to recent polling by YouGov, only 18% of Brits believe that Brexit is going well with 53% saying it's going badly. The others were neutral or didn't know enough to answer.
Despite all the promises of a "Global Britain" by Brexiteers, economists had warned that pulling out of the European Union would damage the United Kingdom's economy and now some of the drawbacks are becoming evident to everyone. Here is a sample of some of those challenges.
Washington Post: "The most severe impact Brexit had on the U.K. is through labor shortages. Tens of thousands of European workers who had lived in Britain as part of the E.U.’s free-movement rules left after the Brexit vote or during the coronavirus pandemic. They were sick of being treated as a problem, and anyway, once the pandemic broke out, they wanted to be near their families. But after Britain left the E.U., free movement came to an end."
"Brexiteers had claimed that this was a positive development: It would raise domestic wages and employ domestic workers. But European employees were central to the functioning of the British economy. With them gone, labor shortages hit across society — in shops, restaurants, abattoirs, food-processing centers and, crucially, the trucking industry."
New York Times: "Britain has been short of customs agents to deal with the tens of millions of declarations now needed, industry experts said. It has repeatedly delayed some of its own new border checks, with several deadlines pushed to July 2022."
The Guardian: "Exports from Great Britain to Ireland fell by almost £2.5bn [32%] in the first seven months of the year with Brexit emerging as a major factor, according to official Irish government data."
BBC: "Despite the tariff-free deal agreed with the EU, a study by the University of Sussex found up to £3.5bn of British exports had taxes applied. That accounts for about 10% of British goods exports to the EU."
Brexit Impact Tracker: "While Brexit dividends remain elusive, its costs are becoming increasingly clear and quantifiable. A recent study on trade tariffs estimates that customs duties paid by UK importers have increased by £600m due to Brexit in the first six month of 2021. These additional duties are currently mostly related to the ‘rules of origin’ in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which implies that only goods with a certain percentage of value added either in the UK or the EU can be traded tariff free. Products that fall below the threshold or that are reexported, on the other hand do incur tariffs. According to the Guardian, the complexity of the new rules has even led some companies to adapt the strategy of paying the additional duties without verifying whether their products would be exempt or not."
Brexit Impact Tracker: "Fuel shortages and increasing energy prices feel like a qualitative change in the impact of Brexit on the UK economy. The impact on UK consumers now goes beyond fairly minor nuisances such as the absence of milkshakes at McDonald’s, shortages of pet food, or increasing prices of garden plants. It now starts affecting more basic commodities that none can easily do without. There are of course still people posting on social media that even queuing at petrol stations is a price worth paying for ‘sovereignty,’ that things were worse in the 1970s, etc. However, the prospect of increasing numbers of families having to choose between ‘heating or eating’ in the winter months, does seem like a new, potentially politically damaging prospect facing the Johnson government."
New York Times: "Britain’s national statistics agency has reported signs of an initial drop in goods trading with the bloc, and the Office for Budget Responsibility, another independent official body, has estimated that the country’s economy will be 4 percent less productive than it would have been inside the European Union."
The Independent: "After the Brexit referendum, people voiced concerns that some businesses may relocate to escape negative consequences like taxes, extra red tape, and the inability to trade freely and hire EU staff. Brexiteers dismissed these concerns but as of 2021, 440 financial services firms have done a runner, according to think tank New Financial. Meanwhile, in 2019, Barclays moved £166bn of its clients’ assets to the Irish capital, stating that it could not wait any longer to implement Brexit contingency plans. Even hoover mogul James Dyson, who supported Brexit, has moved his headquarters to Singapore."
And tensions continue to rise in Northern Ireland, British ex-pats who had moved to sunnier climes like Spain have to return home every 90 days, more and more Scots are sold on Independence, and the UK fishing industry has lost their EU market.
Brexit is not going well; but about exactly as expected.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content