UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday he would not use “uncontrolled migration” to respond to supply chain disruptions, adding that there would be an “adjustment phase”.
The UK is grappling with a truck driver shortage that has left shelves empty and panic buying at gas stations. The government has taken steps to increase testing capacity and announced it will offer 5,000 short-term work visas to drivers, but industry groups have warned that this will not be enough.
Johnson defended his administration’s approach to this Andrew Marr Show.
“What we cannot do is … just go back to the tired, failed old model of grabbing the lever called uncontrolled migration to attract people at low wages,” he said. “And yes, there will be a period of adjustment, but I think that’s what we need to see.”
Driver shortage is a “chronic” trait in the road haulage industry that has not improved working conditions or pay, argued Johnson, adding that Britain “relied on very hard-working people willing to come in, mostly from Europe”. Candidate countries to do this work under these conditions. “
But in the 2016 Brexit referendum, people “voted for the end of a broken model of the UK economy based on low wages and low skills and chronically low productivity – and we are moving away from that,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s statements come after Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave the Post on Saturday that he couldn’t guarantee that the bottlenecks would not last until Christmas.
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