Brexit 'clearly not' to blame for labour shortages says Rees-Mogg
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Jacob Rees-Mogg has blamed UK’s labour shortage on “disruptions” caused by “Covid”, rather than “Brexit” or “European labour movements”. The comments came as about 200 military personnel – half of them drivers – are being deployed as part of Operation Escalin in an effort to increase the number of HGV drivers.
LBC news presenter Camilla Tominey asked: “Is Brexit to blame for these shortages?”
Jacob Rees-Mogg replied: “To which the answer is – clearly not.”
Ms Tominey chipped in: “Well hang on a minute Jacob because, obviously, we’ve had a situation where 1.2 million workers have gone back home to EU countries.
“And we’re now facing a real problem.
“We haven’t got enough of a workforce to deliver things.”
Mr Rees-Mogg responded: “How many of those are lorry drivers?”
Ms Tominey said: “I don’t know. You tell me.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I will tell you – 12,000.
“So the lorry driver shortage has nothing to do with European labor movements.
“89 percent of lorry drivers are UK-born and bred in 2021. Exactly the same level as in 2016.
“So the issue around shortages is a disruption in the global supply chain, which is affecting countries as far away as China.
“It’s not something that is purely affecting the United Kingdom.”
The Military has begun helping to deliver fuel to petrol stations this morning as parts of the country continue to struggle with shortages.
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