“Help! I need somebody”: a problem of Brexit economics

That bus again by Suzy Varty

Employers all around the UK must be humming the words of the iconic Beatles song in total despair. Chronic labour shortages are holding back economic recovery, causing rapid inflation and damaging businesses in virtually every sector of the economy.

It beggars belief that a Scottish farmers co-operative has had to throw away 3.5 million heads of broccoli and 1.9 million heads of cauliflower. Think of the sleepless nights these farmers must have endured, and the sheer waste. And this is when millions are on the poverty line in the UK.

In a recent You Gov poll 56% of respondents said that they had experienced food shortages in their local supermarket.

This does not bode well in the run up to Christmas.


It seems that hardly a day goes by without the Brexit loving pub chain Wetherspoon’s being in the news. This time the latest shortage is the British Bloomer. Hence 13 breakfast menu options are short of toast

There is a very serious economic message underlying all these shortages. Fewer sales mean less economic activity and less profit being generated, and less tax being paid.

From the North East

Jobs and Brexit

How about an extra 1.66 million people in jobs, all of them paying taxes and contributing to economic activity?

The number of unfilled jobs is growing every week according to the Recruitment and Employment Federation. If these jobs were filled and people were paying taxes,  the treasury coffers would be bulging with receipts. The Chancellor would be cock-a-hoop!

It is also worth pointing out at this stage that an estimated 1.3 million EU citizens have returned to their own countries and have not come back to Britain.  This could be a huge under-estimation.

Do we care?

Remember the famous message on the Brexit Bus of an extra £350m per week for the NHS?

Well, that’s £18.2 billion over a year promised in extra funding, enough to pay for the social care and NHS promises made by Boris Johnson on Tuesday 7 September, with substantial change left over. But instead of dividends we are in fact losing billions from all the labour shortages and lost economic activity, and that’s before the direct cost of billions in extra expenditure for industry, and tens of thousands of jobs moved to the EU.

Ask a minister to list the benefits of Brexit and they all struggle.

And who is paying for the extra funding to the NHS and social care?

We are!

Gym time

And the focus of the Chancellor?

Well, it seems to be to take from the poor and the young to reward the rich. 

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has been granted planning permission to build a gym, swimming pool and tennis courts at his Kirby Sigston manor. He bought the manor for a reported £1.5m in 2015 when he was first elected as an MP for the North Yorkshire Constituency of Richmond.

We all know where his sympathies and that of this government lie and it’s not with the tax payers and people of this country.

 It’s time to kick up a stink

Driver shortages in the chemical industry are of particular concern. The Guardian is reporting that sewage treatment chemicals have been added to the growing list of products in short supply because of the UK’s chronic lorry driver shortage.

What will be next?

These lyrics from the Beatles seem so appropriate as yet more taxes are announced and labour and supply chain problems escalate by the day.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?

Help me, help me, oh.

You might also be interested in reading:

Brexit ain’t what was promised by Richard Corbett

Please follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and/or support us with a regular donation