The UK is facing an array of crises following the country’s withdrawal from the EU in early 2021. One economic problem after another has been increasing pressure on the UK, leading to widespread protests by the people against the situation. Economists believe that the failure to resolve tensions with the EU could lead to the spread of various economic crises in the UK and effectively paralyse the country. British retailers are now in a state of disarray after Brexit and their incomes have plummeted, leaving many at the risk of bankruptcy.
A Drop in Sales for the Fourth Consecutive Month
Store sales, or retail sales, fell in the UK for the fourth month in a row in August. Sales fell by 0.9% in August after a fall of 2.8 % in July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Grocery stores lost 1.2% of their sales, but this was due to the lifting of restrictions according to the ONS, which led to more people eating out.
Reasons for Dropping Retail Sales in the UK
Analysts say labour shortages and supply chain disruptions have hit sales. Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says shops were short of supplies in August. “Keeping the shelves full was a real battle, especially for department stores, which is one reason why we spent less in these stores in August.” She said:”Supermarkets had a fight on their hands to keep supply chains flowing, but the might of these retailers meant they were able to track down alternative suppliers so we could keep filling our trolleys.”
According to the According to the survey, chain stores suffered the most from the disruptions (18.2%), followed by clothing stores (11.1%).
The British Are Worried About Empty Store Shelves
These day, many Britons are worried about empty store shelves due to a shortage of lorry drivers following Brexit and the pandemic. Many supermarkets have expressed concern about restrictions and delivery bottlenecks. The reason for such warnings from British retailers is that the shortage of lorry drivers has led to a severe shortage of goods on the shelves of supermarkets.
Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-operative Group, said it was reducing some ranges as the industry’s ability to get food to shops was hit by post-Brexit migration rules and Covid-19. “The shortages are at a worse level than at any time I have seen,” he said.
Stores Worry About Supply Problems Ahead of Christmas
Last year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled all Christmas social gatherings due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, but the current circumstances are very different. Tesco chain stores in the UK have expressed concern about shortages ahead of Christmas. McDonald’s restaurants in the UK have also been forced to remove some foods from their menus due to delivery bottlenecks.
The managing director of Iceland, Richard Walker, said: “It is criminal that drivers are not eligible for work visas, yet they are available to visiting ballerinas and concert pianists.” He warned the delivery disruption is “Impacting the food supply chain on a daily basis”. He said: “We have a lot of goods to transport between now and Christmas and a strong supply chain is vital for everyone … The reason for sounding the alarm now is that we have already had one Christmas cancelled at the last minute, and I would hate this one to be problematic as well.”
Lack of Lorry Drivers in the UK in the Post-Brexit Period
The UK’s Road Haulage Association (RHA) has spoken of a shortage of around 100,000 lorry drivers. The association also pointed to the fact that many European transport workers left the country after Brexit. Expensive and complex visa procedures are now necessary, and new drivers are rarely willing to take on the job. In addition, thousands of people retire every month, and tens of thousands of driving tests have been cancelled due to the pandemic. Recently, representatives of the economic sector in the UK said that the shortage of lorry drivers could lead to problems with the supply chain and emptying of supermarket shelves in the country.
Requests from Boris Johnson to Solve the Guild Problem
RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett, has sent several joint drafts from the affected industries to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The signatories of the petition, which include logistics companies as well as food industry associations, have called for Johnson to intervene to gain access to the European labour market using temporary work visas. Working as a lorry driver is no longer attractive to non-British people once the choice is finalised. The consequences of this choice have become more difficult than before, borders with Europe have been closed and there are extensive bureaucratic obstacles.
After 47 years of membership, the UK officially left the EU in early January 2021. The government says it has reached an agreement on the future of trade cooperation with the EU. But in practice, this departure has caused much trouble, especially for the UK. Various occupations have suffered heavy losses in the post-Brexit period, and many have chosen to relocate their activities outside the UK. Capital flight from the UK has intensified in recent months, with many factories shutting down and relocating to other EU countries. This has led to a recession in the UK. Unfortunately, Boris Johnson’s government has not yet taken much action on free access to EU financial markets, raising concerns about the possible bankruptcy of many guilds and factories.