No workers, lack of goods... Brits reap the benefits of Brexit

No workers, lack of goods... Brits reap the benefits of Brexit
No workers, lack of goods... Brits reap the benefits of Brexit
17 September 2021, 17:11In the worldPhoto:
After a referendum in 2016, when the British voted to secede from the European Union, the people of the United Kingdom were jubilant. However, today not a trace of this joy remains: Brexit brought complete disappointment even to those who were ready to fight for it.

Sergey Kron

Brussels immediately indicated that it would not tolerate cherry-picking - picking in a plate of cherries. The British were shown the door, and with a warning: "This will not work for you!"

Talking about empty shelves in British supermarkets, The Guardian reported with regret that from the very beginning, leaving the EU was an emotionally charged political, not an economic project. It was a desire grounded in a notion of British sovereignty, influenced in large part by the heady mix of nostalgia and the false sense of sacrifice fanned by the British media.

In this view, as a result of a huge mistake, there was a substitution of concepts - sovereignty was confused with power. And in the coming months and years this mistake will have to pay off.

Prime Minister David Cameron, whom the British today commemorate with bad words, starting a referendum, actually wanted to give a shock to the growing Eurosceptics, showing Britain's unity on European integration. But, as they say, it turned out what it did.

The results of the vote stunned everyone: 52% of Britons voted to leave the EU. The remaining 48% considered the decision to be pure voluntarism. Indeed, over 47 years of marriage, the Kingdom has grown into the European Union, managed to preserve the national currency - the pound sterling and a number of other preferences.

The Independent warns that while London and Brussels eventually agreed on how they will manage their relationship after the end of the transition, from a practical point of view, chaos will still be unavoidable.

The Brexit deal with the EU has a huge impact on the UK economy in the short term. In particular, it means that many industries - from agriculture and fisheries to the automotive industry - have escaped duties. Nevertheless, with the exit from the single European market, Great Britain will become a "third country" for the EU - and this status will burden border merchants and bureaucrats with new statements and receipts.

The agreement does not say anything about cooperation between the parties in the field of foreign policy and security. As noted in the European Commission, London has not yet wanted to discuss these issues. Well, they decided in Brussels, from now on the UK will lose access to Europol bases, as well as the unrestricted right to use the European arrest warrant. The Kingdom has also been excluded from the European Galileo satellite project.

According to Western analysts, Brexit was largely motivated by the desire of the British to protect themselves from the migrant invasion, which peaked in 2015. Optimists saw a half-hearted Brexit, when borders can be closed for Arabs and Africans, but they can be left transparent for goods. Britain to this day is very dependent on the single European market.

France's Le Monde reported that 12,000 illegal immigrants have crossed the English Channel since the beginning of the year, while last year their number did not exceed 8,000. The British Foreign Office called this trend "unacceptable" and demanded that the French authorities take measures to curb illegal migration.

However, after the creation of the new military alliance AUKUS, in which the UK is actively involved, Paris is unlikely to agree to help London. The fact is that the American and British military decided to take away from France a multibillion-dollar order for the construction of nuclear submarines for Australia. The French were offended by the allies, calling such actions "a stab in the back." So, most likely, according to experts, any requests from the British Isles will now be ignored.

Well-known analyst Tim Bale said in London that Brexit has created an insoluble contradiction in the conservative agenda. On the one hand, they stand for free trade, on the other, for national sovereignty. Since it proved impossible to combine the two, Prime Minister Boris Johnson chose sovereignty at a high price.

“Now the situation is approaching a boiling point,” the expert believes. “If supply problems worsen, adjustments will inevitably have to be made. And the first signs are already there: the critical situation in the UK food chains forced the government to postpone border control of goods coming from the European Union for six months, primarily meat and fresh products".

Brexit Minister David Frost explained this forced measure by the coronavirus epidemic and the need to provide additional time to prepare businesses for "post-Brexit" trading conditions.

In fact, the UK turned out to be technically unprepared for the new border regime, primarily due to the poor state of infrastructure and IT systems, the lack of necessary terminals and customs services.

For the first time since the Second World War, a difficult situation has developed in the supply of the population with the necessary foodstuffs. Store shelves were empty due to disrupted food supplies from continental Europe. In addition, new labor and visa restrictions do not allow hiring up to one hundred thousand "truckers", who must ensure uninterrupted supply of the island.

But here another problem arose. Despite the demands of British carriers to issue temporary visas to "truckers" from the European Union, Boris Johnson stubbornly refuses to do this and offers to hire drivers within the country, which will cost much more for business. London is simply not ready to invest in this industry, train drivers, improve their working conditions and raise wages.

Vacancies are not filled in other sectors of the food industry, meat processing plants, freezers and supply chains. As the head of the Federation of Frozen Foods Richard Harrow said , there is a labor shortage in all positions, and this is primarily due to Brexit.

Due to changes in immigration rules, 1.7 million jobs remain vacant. This situation has not been observed since the 1970s.

The Financial Times , citing the Center for Economic Statistics, reported that from the summer of 2019 to the summer of 2020, about 1.3 million foreigners living there left the UK. In London, we are talking about 700,000 people, that is, 8% of its population! This represents the worst population decline in 76 years.

Sergey Zhavoronkov , Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Economic Policy named after E. Gaidara told "Novye Izvestia" that as such Britain's withdrawal from the European Union for Russia does not play a significant role in economic terms. Nevertheless, one of the main immediate threats to the Russian financial system and economy, associated with the possible negative consequences of Brexit, is the currency factor. Recently, against the background of sanctions threats in Russia, there has been a forced shift from the dollar to the euro, both in foreign trade settlements and in domestic foreign exchange and savings. Thus, since the euro can react with a significant reduction to instability in the European Union, due to currency revaluation, this will lead to corresponding costs for both the Russian population and individual companies and the state as a whole. It is known that the share of the euro in the gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Russian Federation is about 35%, and the British pound - almost 10%, the expert noted.

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