Assoc. Prof. Faik Tanrıkulu, from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Istanbul Medipol University, evaluated the supply issue in the UK.
The number of transport drivers fell short after the Brexit crisis in the UK. This situation led to some setbacks in the fuel and food sectors, mainly where the long queues were constituted. The shelves at the supermarkets were empty due to the supply issue. Due to the lack of truck drivers, which caused a crisis, some British army personnel have begun to work at gas stations. Evaluating the topic, Assoc. Prof. Faik Tanrıkulu, from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Istanbul Medipol University, said that the companies, unions, and commerce chambers forced the government to take precautions due to the ongoing supply issues. Stating that the shrinkage in the retail industry is at the lowest point within the last 40 years, Tanrıkulu said: Brexit is being interpreted, by the media opposing the EU, as one of the most important reasons for the dramatic bottlenecks at the moment and summarizes the point where the labour shortage has come. The supply issue may last longer than anticipated.”
“THE UK FACES CHEAP-LABOUR SHORTAGE’’
Stating that there has been a shortage of cheap labour in the construction industry and gastronomy, especially in supermarkets, in UK for a few years, Tanrıkulu said: “With the abandonment of domestic market and customs union from January 1st, the EU citizens have lost their freedom of travel. This situation made the struggles more tangible. It’s become hard to find people who work as plumbers, waiters, elderly-care nurses and cleaners. Hence, it grew difficult for EU citizens who could not travel to the UK to fill these spaces. In the recent years, millions of continental Europeans have done the works for low wages that the local population did not do so.’’
“THE AGING OF THE POPULATION WILL CREATE OTHER CRISES”
Expressing that the UK, whose population is aging, has previously filled the employment gap in the transport sector through workers coming from Eastern Europe, Tanrıkulu said: ‘’While 20 thousand drivers returned to their country after Brexit, it is thought that 50 thousand British drivers left their jobs in the last 18 months due to the epidemic. One of the reasons is drivers’ license examinations that could not be held for months due to the pandemic and a limited return to the previous free movement of workers by the conservative government. The social and financial problems that come with the elderly population force developed countries to take precautions. Because of the decrease in the number of young people participating in the labour market every year, it becomes increasingly difficult to find employees to fill their places, which brings along other crises. Although the current government has opened a temporary quota for 5 thousand people, 300 people applied to this visa programme in the past. The logistic service needed to close the current gap in eastern UK is being executed by the soldiers. Therefore, the public and chambers of commerce claim that these solutions are temporary and that the immigration law should be relaxed to find a solution for a long-time.”