Brexit: Expert hits out at 'lazy' supply chain criticism
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Catherine McBride from the Centre for Brexit Policy has hit out at “lazy” attempt to blame supply chain problems on the UK leaving the EU. Ms McBride was invited onto TRT’s Roundtable programme to discuss coverage of the UK’s supply chain crisis in Germany. She argued that the “Germans are just dreaming” as the expert lashed out at the criticisms of the Brexit.
Ms McBride told the TRT Roundtable host that the German coverage was “Completely unfair and very lazy.”
“Because we have a thing called the Office of National Statistics and they calculate that we’re only about 7% of our HGV drivers came from the EU, before we voted to leave the EU.
“Now that’s up to about 20% or 12%.
“But the biggest loss to the drivers market came from UK drivers, we lost four times as many UK drivers during the pandemic than EU drivers.”
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She added: “So, the Germans are just dreaming.
“What they should be worried about is that we, in a lot more goods from the EU, and we export.
“We rely on a lot of service exports and services don’t need containers, and certainly container ships, and they don’t need HGV drivers.
“So in fact the people who really should be worried are the Germans, I was in Germany when we were having our petrol pandemic, and they were having an HGV driver shortage, and it was on every news channel in Germany.”
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Earliet this month a HGV recruitment boss, Keiran Smith, set out the reason behind the industry’s ongoing shortage of drivers.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live despite arguments the problem lies with Britain’s exit from the European Union, the Driver Require CEO argued that “Brexit could have been dealt with.”
Instead, Mr Smith pointed to the Covid pandemic encouraging older truckers to take early retirement as the issue that really brought on the shortage crisis.
Mr Smith told 5 Live on October 7: “The only we have a crisis right now is Covid induced essentially 40 to 50,000 of our older driver population to retire early.”
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The host asked: “Nothing to do with Brexit?”
“There is always a Brexit element yes, there were 15 to 20,000 European workers who left,” replied Mr Smith.
“We also had problems with testing so we had about 20,000 fewer candidates going through the testing process and so on.”
“But we could have dealt with that that was within the magnitude that our industry could cope with.”
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