The government should have seen the post-Brexit issues coming, says Labour. Instead, they had their heads in the sand and ignored warnings and advice about the growing issues, only now looking at emergency measures to get the country moving again.
Northumberland Labour lead Scott Dickinson said: “Whatever your view about Brexit, the fact is we were always going to be short of people like lorry drivers, hospitality staff and fruit and veg pickers. The pandemic may have masked this but Brexit is the major cause.
“Even before the pandemic the situation with lorry drivers was serious but Brexit has made this 100 times worse. The best the government can come up with is asking lorry drivers to work longer hours. In what world would this ever be common sense or safe? We’re urging the government to add job roles like this to the shortage occupation list.
“Employers and trade unions need to work together to see how this crisis, which the government was warned about, can be addressed.
“Nhs staff, lorry driving, hospitality and fruit and veg picking need to be held in higher regard than they are now; they need to appeal to local people. These are vital jobs to keep the country safe and fed.”