Heeding working-class voices on Brexit and labour shortages | Letters
Jonny Marsh and Mike Whittaker on how the exodus of EU workers has contributed to the problems being faced in a range of sectors in the UK
Reading Christopher John’s account of the working conditions of HGV drivers in the UK (‘Getting into Europe is a relief every time’: an HGV driver reflects on UK crisis, 27 September), I was struck by the fact that I had no idea how bad they are. If we weren’t in the middle of a Brexit-induced driver shortage, I probably still wouldn’t.
The exodus of European workers has created a vacuum in the form of a labour shortage. From that space, a national discussion that foregrounds both the voices and interests of working-class people has emerged. There have been lots of references to this as an unexpected or ironic benefit of Brexit. This is beyond patronising. British HGV drivers were a largely pro-Brexit demographic. Now, their wages are going up and drivers’ concerns are being represented in a newspaper as staunchly pro-remain as the Guardian. This is not an unexpected consequence. This is them getting what they voted for.Continue reading...