EU commissioner says Brexit has been ‘catastrophe’ and caused shortages

Thierry Breton also accuses UK of ‘a lot of bad faith’

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Wednesday 27 October 2021 10:33
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Related video: Lord Frost says UK has a ‘somewhat fractious relationship with EU’

A top EU commissioner has branded Brexit a "catastrophe", pointing to shortages in supermarkets and on petrol station forecourts in Britain.

Thierry Breton, the EU's internal market commission, told a broadcaster in his native France that Britain's departure from the EU was causing "real drama".

It comes amid acute supply chain problems in the UK, including a shortage of lorry drivers, soaring fuel costs and depleted petrol stations.

"Look at what is happening on the supermarket shelves, look at what is happening at the petrol pumps, look at what is happening with the shortage of nurses and doctors, look at what is happening with the shortage of truck drivers, look at what is happening in the construction sector," Mr Breton told BFM TV.

Branding the policy an "economic catastrophe" for Britain, he added: "What is currently happening is a real drama."

Mocking the promises of Brexiteer politicians, he added: "Consider that after they said they could regain prosperity, which meant to some extent that every EU national would be kicked out — at least a large part of them — well now they need to come back, because nurses are missing. There's 100,000 truck drivers missing ... It is what it is and we deplore it."

Mr Breton also accused the UK of "a lot of bad faith" in a row over fishing right around the Channel Islands, which has seen French fishermen refused licences they say they are entitled to under the Brexit agreement.

London and Brussels are also locked in seemingly never-ending talks about the situation in Northern Ireland, with the UK wanting to rewrite aspects of the deal it agreed to and implemented just ten months ago.

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