As the fuel crisis continues to loom across Great Britain, one question comes into many people’s minds. Is Brexit the reason for the fuel crisis in Britain? There is no single answer to the question as it could be yes, no or maybe; depending on your perspective.
Michael Barnier, the former chief Brexit negotiator, told ITV News that nobody could be surprised that Brexit was one of the contributors for the recent fuel crisis. Although he added that COVID-19 and global market conditions contributed to the crisis, he emphasized that a key factor was that UK left the single market as it stopped the free movement of people.
According to the Independent, UK Labor frontbencher David Lammy said that the Brexit deal was responsible for HGV driver shortages.
When asked for comment on the fuel crisis in Britain, Olaf Scholz, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, who won a slim majority in the recent German elections, told reporters on Monday that they worked hard to convince the British not to leave the union. Britain decided differently and he hoped that they would manage the problems that came with Brexit.
The Financial Times urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use his own franglais phrase “prenez un grip”— get a grip as his cabinet members after the recent reshuffle seemed to be losing more and more control, not just the plot but the entire story.
When France was extremely upset at Australia for reneging on a deal for diesel and electric submarines, and went with the U.S. and the U.K. for a deal for nuclear submarines, Johnson told France to prenez un grip.
Although Brexit is not only the reason why there is a fuel crisis in the island nation, it has exacerbated the following which are majorly responsible for the fuel crisis
A shortfall of drivers who left after Brexit.
Stringent visa requirements
Better conditions for drivers if they remain in the EU.
An aging labor force, without immigrant or natives to replace them.
A stringent and expensive training program that does contribute to high safety but also makes it less favorable as a job opportunity for many.
Source France 24, The NYT, CNN, Sputnik, Independent, ITV, The Guardian, Bloomberg