Staff shortages are strangling the life out of the hoped-for economic recovery. The previous growth has slowed alarmingly this summer.
Businesses and public service leaders are pleading with the Government to change the post-Brexit visa rules to allow many more EU nationals to come to the U.K. to help solve the dire shortage of people to work in our shops, supply chains, restaurants, care homes, warehouses, farms, and factories.
The cancellation of freedom of movement with 27 other countries has begun to bite.
But why would those European workers want to return now? They can live, work, study and visit family without restrictions in 27 countries; we can’t do any of these anywhere else.
They currently have an average pandemic infection rate less than half ours.
Their vaccination rates are fast matching ours, with many better.
Their combined political voice is listened to around the world; ours is becoming marginalised.
They are collectively restraining the worst excesses of nationalism and populism; we are still clinging to a nostalgic version of “sovereignty”.
So, why would they come? Even our own nationals, living in Europe, may conclude that they and their families are better staying put.
Let’s hope our government finally finds its way to correct its ever- changing travel policy and penalising quota system and some incentives can get those workers we need to come back.