‘Anti-Brexit’ businesses savaged for hiring EU workers ‘instead of giving Britons a raise’
Brexit and 'failed markets' to blame for shortages says host
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Reform Party leader Richard Tice has ripped into Remainer lobbying groups for blaming the current supply chain crisis on Brexit. Speaking on GB News, the former Brexit Party MEP backed calls from Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng that businesses should prioritise hiring UK-based workers. A shortage in lorry drivers has prompted businesses across multiple sectors to warn they will struggle to meet customer demand.
Many business leaders are calling on the Government to loosen immigration rules so they can hire cheaper labour from abroad.
Mr Tice took issue with this claim, saying businesses should instead give British workers a raise.
He urged the Government to “resist this bleating and lobbying from the same groups who campaigned against Brexit in the first place”.
The businessman warned against a “race to the bottom” and insisted firms must pay lorry drivers more.
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On Friday, Mr Kwarteng rejected calls to ease rules, saying it would be a “short-term temporary solution”.
He urged employers to help the “many UK-based workers who now face an uncertain future and need to find new employment opportunities”.
This came after the boss of the supermarket chain Iceland has warned that the supply chain crisis could “cancel” Christmas.
Co-op boss Steve Murrells echoed this, saying the food “shortages are at a worse level than at any time I have seen”.
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Nando’s, McDonald’s, and KFC are among the companies that have reported shortages as a consequence in recent weeks.
Mr Tice said: “If you can’t find the labour, you’ve got two choices.
“You either pay more or you invest in capital equipment to replace the labour.”
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He continued: “This is good news because the lorry drivers, for example, HGV drivers, they were the victims for over a decade of unlimited, relatively low-skilled immigration from the rest of the EU.
“So, their wages actually suffered on a relative basis compared to many, including other people who work in the supermarket sector.
“It’s good news and I am delighted that the business sector and Kwasi Kwarteng are resisting this bleating and lobbying from the same groups who campaigned against Brexit because they want to boost the profits of the supermarkets to the detriment of the drivers.”
A Government spokeswoman said: “We want to see employers make long-term investments in the UK domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad and our Plan for Jobs is helping people across the country retrain, build new skills and get back into work.”
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