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Milkshakes, medical equipment, labor shortages: Brexit or pandemics?

MeCare, a furniture company that also sells meatballs, apologized for a shortage of about 10% of its products, and a British company said, “It’s due to the disruption of global trade flow and the shortage of drivers. It was exacerbated by the pandemic and the Brexit. “

However, IKEA in the Netherlands, where shortages are affecting about 10% of inventories, said that “the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is progressing faster than expected” and “congestion at the port”. Provided a slightly different description. The Chinese terminal was temporarily closed due to a local coronavirus outbreak. “

Apparently, the Netherlands remained in the EU, so the statement did not mention Brexit.Various explanations Guido Fawkes website, This is in favor of Brexit, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to point out a contradiction.

The problem is that the causes of shortages in the UK and elsewhere are complex, so when they started, people gave some explanations, but in the UK they often included Brexit.

In some specific cases this was indisputable. Some goods coming from the EU to the UK are subject to tariffs due to “rules of origin”. Post-Brexit trade agreements allow EU goods to be brought into the UK without tariffs, but anything originally manufactured outside the EU is subject to tariffs.

But in many cases, the problem is caused by a labor shortage. Pubs and restaurants couldn’t find staff, and their owners often say EU workers returned home after Brexit.This is true, but probably not most for Brexit. Many Central European workers returned to their home countries during the coronavirus blockade because their jobs had disappeared and they wanted to stay home because of the crisis.

The UK left the EU at the end of January 2020 and the virus was attacked a month later, making it easy to confuse the two events. However, the Brexit transition period did not end until January 1, this year, when it was affected. I really felt it. Until then, the status of EU citizens in the UK had not changed. In fact, since then, everyone working here has had the right to continue doing so. The only difference on February 1, 2020 is that EU citizens may have felt unwelcome in the UK as they are now in countries outside the EU, which could have had a major impact. Is low.

The same turmoil sparked a debate about the shortage of truck drivers that had the knock-on effect of causing a shortage of everything from milkshakes to medical devices. Some drivers may have refused to move between the UK and the EU due to extra paperwork, but one of the more important causes is that after Brexit, “EU workers have returned home” due to a pandemic. It was that.

There were other specific causes for the shortage of truck drivers. Their tax changes have made salaries less attractive. Also, due to the pandemic, the issuance of the HGV license was delayed.

In the traditional view of almost all economists, Brexit is considered to have a negative impact on the UK economy in the long run. Difficulty in trading with the largest markets reduces profitability. The UK economy usually continues to grow, but slightly slower than it would otherwise. However, the period since we left the EU was far from normal, and the subsequent changes in behavior and the economic turmoil of the blockade have been enormous around the world.

Most economists have a current shortage Overwhelmingly caused Due to the destruction of the coronavirus, it is difficult to distinguish the small contributions made so far by leaving the EU.

The problem with analyzing this subject is the strong prejudice of the factions. Dedicated remnants blame all Brexit issues if they can establish a plausible connection remotely. Persuasive withdrawals, on the other hand, can easily switch from suggesting that Brexit has so far been ineffective to claiming that it is pushing up the wages of unskilled workers. increase. This is a good thing.

Trying to overcome prejudice Independent Will hold an online event on October 6th to investigate the hidden costs of Brexit and do what it can to elicit the pandemic impact on Brexit and the economy. I chair a panel of experts who seek to shed more light than heat on this complex question. The event is free, so please register from the link below.

Brexit: Hidden Cost Survey, Independent Online Event, 6:30 pm, October 6th

Milkshakes, medical equipment, labor shortages: Brexit or pandemics?

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