Category: Brexit

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Northern Irish trade: Brexit breaks it

Joyce Quin

When the UK joined the then European Economic Community in 1973 it was not at all surprising that the Republic of Ireland became an EEC member at the same time. The UK and Ireland were closely linked economically and both countries were committed to the common travel area between them and were conscious of the […]

Work permits needed for TEFL teachers: a Brexit bonus?

Louise Brown

I read this morning that Brexit has prompted Irish TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers to become in demand within the EU.  This is because British teachers now need work permits to be employed over there whereas Irish teachers do not.  Although I knew this was always going to be the case after […]


Wetherspoons’ boss loses out because of Brexit

Peter Benson

I fear I could be suffering from Schadenfreude, as I find myself somewhat unable to show empathy for the boss and biggest shareholder of Wetherspoons pub chain, Tim Martin. Brexit promoting Tim Martin must take some of the blame for the current crises in food, energy, labour and logistics, that the country is still reeling from. He […]


NI, GB, EU and why in the name of god this stuff matters when it shouldn’t…

Bill Corcoran

I was in Malta last week. A surreal experience with a Mediterranean climate, English spoken, fish’n’chips (and mushy peas!!) in a posh café in Valletta. In conversations with the friendly Maltese, the prevailing words, uttered quietly, once the polite language about shared history, culture and friendship had been done – “but Brexit….”; as if referring […]


UK doing worse than European neighbours says APPG on Coronavirus

Carol Westall

On 5 October the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus met to discuss the UK government’s ‘Winter Plan’ with witnesses giving expert evidence from a local, national and international perspective.   In September the Prime Minister announced the plans for tackling Covid during autumn and winter in England. ‘Plan A’ is designed to prevent […]

Brexit crisis continues with bus driver shortages

Yvonne Wancke

Bus routes and services are experiencing disruption across the country, particularly in the North East. This is a knock on effect from the HGV crisis as bus drivers are being ‘poached’ by haulage bosses for hugely increased wages. The reasons for the bus driver shortages Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon, chairman of the North East […]

Thatcher’s lonely walk: a lesson for Boris Johnson?

Owain Gardner

North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, sums up the North East’s attitude towards Boris Johnson’s so-called “Levelling-Up Agenda” – there is quite literally no definition of what it actually is, despite the Prime Minister having been in Number 10 Downing Street for two years. Something which is born out in the representative poll of 10,000 […]


High wage economy: a response to Boris Johnson

James Sheerin

It’s not that a high wage, high productivity economy is a bad idea. It’s what we desperately need to improve the lot of everyone in our broken society. It’s the bare-faced insincerity of Boris Johnson, the man who dreamed up the argument, perhaps even as he spoke to Andrew Marr last Sunday, as a way […]


Haulage: a perspective from Poland

North East Bylines

Gregor Gowans lives in Poland and is a journalist at trans.INFO. North East Bylines interviewed him to find out first-hand about lorry driver shortages and related matters. Gregor confirmed that there is indeed a lorry-driver shortage in Britain and throughout Europe, including Poland. But, he stressed, it is: “emphatically not true that there are empty […]


Shortages: a view from Europe

Yvonne Wancke

A few days ago I wrote an article on the subject of food and fuel shortages following recent comments from Treasury Minister and Tory MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Simon Clarke. Clarke claimed that the current problems are not due to Brexit. He also said that the rest of Europe was experiencing the […]

Hundreds attend ‘Brexit isn’t working’ protest

Yvonne Wancke

Hundreds of people have gathered in Manchester, where the Conservative Party Conference is taking place, to say that Brexit isn’t working. This is all in the context of food and fuel shortages and the HGV crisis. People have travelled from Leeds, Lancaster, the North East and Manchester itself to make their voices heard. There is […]

It’s colder up north: a winter of discontent beckons

Peter Benson

Every winter we take the cold weather for granted. However, this year it’s going to cost us all so much more in heating bills. On 1 October gas and electricity prices go up by 12%. How many of us can really afford all these prices hikes, along with fuel and food prices rocketing, all largely […]

Simon Clarke says shortages are across Europe and not caused by Brexit

Yvonne Wancke

Today Simon Clarke, Treasury Minister and MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said, on Radio 4 Today that the fuel shortages are not unique to the UK: “The idea that this is just a British problem is fundamentally wrong.“ He claims that it is a problem shared across Europe, specifically mentioning Germany and Poland. […]

The hospitality industry post-Brexit

Margaret Green

I recently began working in hospitality. An area of which I had no experience. Little did I know that I was coinciding with the upheaval of Covid-19 and Brexit. I have tried to pull out some of the trends that I have seen and in particular those that might be relevant to Brexit. I have […]


North Korea driving in Clapham

Robin Tudge

It’s 05:15, Sunday morning in Clapham, and I’m adopting ‘North Korea driving’ methods to save fuel. It’s a phrase I made up in 2002 when touring that isolated country, at the time barely crawling out of a famine that had killed a tenth of its people, a famine precipitated in no small party by a […]

Energy crisis sparks food and beer shortages amid local job losses

Peter Benson

We must not downplay the seriousness of the current energy crisis. Higher gas and electricity prices on top of other price increases are a real problem. There is a potential for blackouts and job losses. Whilst the government says there is no scarcity of energy at the moment, winter is coming. Why is there an […]

Brexit isn’t working: protest at the Tory Party Conference

Joe White

On 3 October the Conservative annual party conference starts in Manchester. As delegates begin to arrive on 2 October, Grassroots for Europe groups from around the country and locals opposed to the Brexit deal will be there to give them the welcome they deserve and put Brexit at the front and centre of the agenda. […]

Support needed for touring musicians say artists at the Last Night of the Proms

Louise Brown

This Saturday thousands of musicians and artists gathered outside The Royal Albert Hall on The Last Night of The Proms to show solidarity and raise awareness to the plight of our touring arts industries, many of whom are now facing ruin since leaving the European Union. David Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Featured Artists Coalition […]

Social care: now we know

Sally Young

Eleven months ago I wrote an article for North East Bylines called ‘Social care: whoever knew’. The title was written in ironic font. This week the government unveiled its plans for social care in England. There are numerous controversies within this relatively short document, that has been eleven years in the making. It includes the […]

Reading Festival: an interview with an activist

Yvonne Wancke

Festivals are a traditional part of the great British summer. After over a year when it hasn’t been possible to host or attend festivals, some tentative steps have been taken in 2021 and festival goers have once more enjoyed a few days of camping, great music and the time to chat, discuss and meet new […]

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

Peter Benson

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 […]

The Wonderful Everyday in short supply: from Ikea to rubbish collections

Peter Benson

More national brands are announcing supply problems caused by the lack of HGV drivers, on top of Tesco and Iceland. Adding to the list in recent days are Ikea, Coca Cola, Costa, Gregg’s, Wetherspoon’s, McDonald’s, KFC and many more. The reality is that virtually every corner of the economy is being impacted. This is from supermarket […]


Hangover for Wetherspoon’s boss as beer runs out!

Peter Benson

It must be the biggest disaster ever for a pub to run out of beer and suffer staff shortages all at the same time. Tim Martin, boss of the pub chain, Wetherspoon’s, cannot be getting much sleep these days as his die-hard love of Brexit costs his business trade. Wetherspoon’s is yet another high-profile business […]

Poetry Corner

What’s for dinner today?

Harry Gallagher

There are foodless holes on my regular strolls around supermarket shelves, the wheels on my trolley having come off, and the folly is we did it to ourselves. We looked back rosily at war, at Normandy and Agincourt and opted for more strife. Now the irony is endless; we sit here friendless as driverless lorries […]


Campaigning methods for pro-Europeans: positive or negative?

Colin Gordon

Hope and fear are both powerful forces, in politics as in life. Often, they are two sides of a same reality. We hope for life and health, and fear illness and death. We hope for peace and security, we fear war and disaster. We hope for plenty, we fear poverty. People selling a product or […]

McDonald’s: I’m no longer “lovin’ it”

Peter Benson

The food shortage crisis engulfing hospitality sector has now claimed a new high profile scalp, Mc Donald’s. The tabloids are reporting  that customers of Mc Donald’s are fuming and furious with the lack of milk shakes and bottled water. There are also multiple reports on social media that North East based Greggs is also suffering from […]

Chicken shortage: it’s peri-peri serious!

Peter Benson

Are you in a flap about the chicken shortage and worried about not getting enough of your favourite finger licking delicious chicken meal?  Well, if not you should be or perhaps you have not been in a supermarket lately. The reason for the chicken shortages in Nando’s and KFC  is an acute shortage of staff within […]