Johnson considers post-COVID economy as British Tories meet

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Ahead of the conference, Johnson said he was ready to make “big and bold decisions on priorities that matter to people – like social care, job support, climate change, tackling crime and the passage to the next level “.

Asked about the truck driver shortage crisis, Johnson said it was a “chronic problem” associated with overdependence on migrant workers who were willing to work for low wages and poor wages. conditions. He said he wouldn’t repeat that mistake.

“The way forward for our country is not simply to pull the big lever marked by uncontrolled immigration and allow a large number of people to work,” he told the BBC.

Referring to the 2016 referendum that led to Britain’s exit from the EU, Johnson said: “When people voted for change in 2016 … chronic low productivity. And we are moving away from that. ”

He argued that the situation at gas stations was improving after more than a week of disruption – although retailers say drivers still cannot get petrol at many pumps in the London area and the south-east of England.

Britain has long suffered from a shortage of truck drivers, but the problem came to a head with the combination of Brexit, which ended the freedom of movement of workers from the EU to Britain, and the pandemic, which significantly limited travel and interrupted training for new national drivers who had to replace those who left to their home countries due to Brexit.

Brexit and COVID-19 have also exacerbated existing labor shortages across a wide range of sectors, from hospitality to construction and the food industry.

About 200 military personnel, including 100 drivers, will take to the roads from Monday to help ease fuel shortages.

The Petrol Retailers Association welcomed the move, but warned that it would have limited impact given the relatively small number of people involved. The organization’s chairman, Brian Madderson, said on Sunday that while the crisis was “all but over” in Scotland and northern England, more than one in five stations in London and the south-east of England. England was always out of fuel.

The government also announced on Friday that it was extending an emergency visa program that aims to bring in thousands of foreign truck drivers.

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