Many people predicted that Brexit would exact a slow and unrelenting series of unpleasant consequences on the British people. Now we are seeing it unfold. In a guest essay in the New York Times today, Samuel Earle, writes that
…any sense of normality has been banished in the past few weeks. A dramatic fuel crisis, which has been caused in large part by a lack of truck drivers and at its peak forced around a third of all gas stations to close, is only the most glaring concern.
A convergence of problems — a global gas shortage, rising energy and food prices, supply-chain issues and the Conservatives’ decision to slash welfare — has cast the country’s future in darkness. Even Mr. Johnson, known for his boosterish optimism and bonhomie, has struggled to make light of the situation.
He points to empty shelves in supermarkets, food rotting in fields, and a widespread shortage of labor in shops and restaurants. The primary reason has been the exit of over 1.3 million workers from Britain as they return to their homelands in Europe. The shortage of truck drivers is acute, not the least because British truckers suffer some of the worst pay and conditions of anywhere in Europe. The pathetic response of the Conservative Government only rubs salt into the festering wound that is the UK economy. Manufacturers and major employers have warned of this crisis for a while and their concerns were airily dismissed by government ministers. The City of London, once one of the world’s key financial and banking centers has become a minor player. It used to be good for a third of UK GDP. When you have to call in the Army to deliver fuel, you have really started to see the rot.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.