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Analysis

Thanks, Brexiters! 6 ways Brexit is taking its toll

by Luke Lythgoe | 06.11.2017

Theresa May’s chaotic Brexit is already upturning people’s lives and livelihoods. Here are six of the latest ways our preparations to leave the EU are damaging this country.

Fruit rotting on the farms

Fruit farmers, reliant on seasonal EU labourers, were among the first to feel staffing shortages after Brexit. Now fruit is rotting before it can be picked, as the National Farmers Union revealed a 29% shortfall in seasonal workers this September.

One farmer told the FT how she had to send 100 bins of Gala apples to be made into juice. They would have fetched five times the price had they been sold as class 1 fruit.

Supply chain reaction

Bad news for Britain’s exporters to the EU. Almost two thirds of EU companies are planning to move at least some of their supply chain out of the UK following the government’s decision to leave the single market, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.

Their attitudes seem to be hardening – a similar survey in May found just 44% of companies planning to switch suppliers.

Aaaand… CUT!

The UK dominates Europe’s broadcasting sector, thanks to the availability of skilled employees and the English language being used. But even under these favourable conditions, the Commercial Broadcasters Association – the trade body representing Disney, Eurosport, Discovery and others – has warned a hard Brexit could see thousands of jobs leaving the UK.

Can anyone find a nurse?!

EU medical staff continue to be turning away from the UK. This September there were just over 36,200 EU nurses and midwives registered to work here – over 2,700 less than a year before.

This comes at a time of nursing shortages across the NHS, with the Royal College of Nursing reporting over 40,000 vacancies. Ministers say a rise in training places will make up the shortfall, but it will be years before this new cohort is ready.

Don’t bank on it

The Bank of England believes 75,000 job losses in the financial services sector is a “reasonable scenario” after Brexit. What’s more, the City could lose 10,000 jobs on “day one” of Brexit, according to the Bank’s deputy governor.  

Preparing for a bad Brexit

Meanwhile, back in Whitehall, the government is putting together 300 separate contingency plans for Brexit. They’ve earmarked £344 million of public money for this task over the next financial year – or nearly £1 million per day. Add that to the thousands of extra customs officials, immigration workers and civil servants being hired, plus all the unforeseen Brexit costs that departments aren’t yet telling us about – or perhaps even aware of.

It’s all money that could be being spent elsewhere. Training some more nurses perhaps?

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Edited by Hugo Dixon

2 Responses to “Thanks, Brexiters! 6 ways Brexit is taking its toll”

  • Luke Lythgoe, when talking of nurses, forgot to say that Bursaries for nursing training have just been abolished by HMG. The consequences are obvious in the short and long term.

  • Bearing in mind this government’s attitude to the public sector and reducing the number of civil servants, the subject of the number of extra civil servants that will be needed in the event of Brexit should be stressed as much as possible.