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The UK’s problem is Brexit – and that problem is here to stay

Editorial: The government has spent most of the past week pretending the fuel crisis has nothing to do with Brexit. It is palpably untrue

Sunday 03 October 2021 21:30 BST
(Brian Adcock)

It is two years since the last, proper, in-person Conservative Party conference. Two years ago, when the party gathered in Manchester, as it does again now, there was barely a square inch of wall space not plastered with three words: “Get Brexit Done.” A couple of months later, Brexit did get done. Now the party is meeting again and, as a direct consequence of Brexit having got done, the country is in the middle of a serious fuel crisis that shows precious little sign of improving. There are shortages of lots of items in supermarkets, and there are real concerns that the underlying cause of these shortages will not be alleviated in time for Christmas.

The government has spent most of the past week pretending that this problem has nothing to do with Brexit, and that other countries are facing the same problems we are, which is palpably untrue. There is no fuel crisis anywhere but here.

Johnson has, in his pre-conference interview with Andrew Marr, vaguely conceded that the problem might be vaguely Brexit-related. “When people voted for change in 2016, and when people voted for change again in 2019, as they did, they voted for the end of a broken model of the UK economy that relied on low wages, and low skill, and chronic low productivity – and we’re moving away from that,” he said.

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