Brexit risks produce shortage as immigration laws tighten
Following recent immigration reforms and stricter rules for migrant worker checks at the border as per Brexit's new regulations, U.K. grocers could face shortages of fresh fruits and veggies, reports Yahoo News.
Citing the changes as a "perfect storm" for conditions to worsen for the import industry in the U.K., Ali Capper of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) criticized the tightened regulations on migrant workers. The British government revealed its post-Brexit immigration system last week.
Beginning next year, it will end the free movement of EU workers, making up 60% in agriculture. There are a provisional 10,000 spaces in a proposed "pilot seasonal worker scheme" that farmers say is grossly insufficient as they need 70,000 workers during harvest seasons.
In an interview with journalists, she - an apple farmer in the country - said that the new rules are "head-spinningly unbelieveable". She went on to be quoted saying that "checks are pretty scary because that means delay".
Such delays, Caper explained, are especially difficult when the goods are perishable.
"Will we have empty shelves? Will prices go up? Yes," she added.
This is in line with what the British Retail Consortium warned of earlier this month when saying that Brexit policies would create "significant disruption" in the marketplace.
Caper isn't the only farmer who has expressed concern and panic over the new policies. Other growers have told the publication that if supermarket customers are calling to ask about crop next year, they aren't sure if they can even keep contracts with retailers.
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