British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday he would not return to “uncontrolled immigration” to solve the fuel, gas and Christmas food crisis, suggesting such tensions were part of a post-Brexit adjustment period .
At the start of his Conservative Party convention, Johnson was asked again to defend his government against complaints from gas companies struggling with not getting petrol for their cars, retailers warning of Christmas shortages, and wholesale price hikes. was forced to
British leaders wanted to use the conference to turn the page more than 18 months after COVID-19 and refocus on their 2019 election promises to tackle regional inequality, crime and social care.
Instead, the prime minister finds himself on the backfoot nine months after Britain’s exit from the European Union – a departure he said would give the country the freedom to better shape its economy.
“The way forward for our country is not just to pull the big lever marked by uncontrolled immigration, and to allow large numbers of people to work … low wages, low skills supported by uncontrolled immigration,” he told the BBC. told The Andrew Marr Show.
“When people voted for change in 2016 and… again in 2019, as they did, they voted for the end of a broken model of the UK economy that is characterized by low wages and low skills and chronic low productivity. depended on it, and we’re getting away from that.”
The prime minister acknowledged that Britain’s exit from the European Union has contributed to tensions in supply chains and the labor force, dragging everything from fuel delivery to a possible shortage of turkeys for Christmas.
“There will be a period of adjustment, but I think that’s what we need to see,” he said.
But he was clear that he would not open the taps of immigration to fill such gaps, again handing businesses the responsibility of raising wages and attracting more workers.
Labor shortages after Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have thrown some sectors of the economy into disarray, disrupting fuel and medicine deliveries, and a shortage of slaughterhouse workers causing more than 100,000 pigs to face a well. have to do.
The Conservative Party chairman, Oliver Dowden, said the government was taking measures to hire more truck drivers than usual and that the government had started training military tanker personnel to start delivering fuel from Monday.
“We’ll make sure people have a turkey for Christmas, and I know it’s at the top of their list for Environment Secretary George Eustice,” he told Sky News.
Instead of resettling Johnson expected to preside in the northern English city of Manchester, the conference is being fueled by supply-chain crises and criticism of the government’s return of top-ups to a state benefit for low-income families. .
Johnson may also come under fire for breaking the Conservatives’ traditional stance as a party of low taxes after raising them to help the health and social care sectors.
“Of course we do not want to increase taxes, but what we will not do will be irresponsible with public finances,” he said.
“If I can possibly avoid it, I don’t want to raise taxes again, of course not.”