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Give UK time to adjust to new order, MP argues

BRITAIN still needs time to adapt to life outside the EU – and recent problems with fuel and food shortages are part of that adjustment process, MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has warned.

He says people have to accept that the way the country operates and is managed has changed completely since Brexit.

And, he says, many Britons will need to fundamentally alter their own routines to take account of the new circumstances in which they find themselves.

Mr Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said the so-called fuel crisis was merely a reflection of the lack of delivery capacity rather than of the shortage of fuel, of which there were ample stocks.

“Unfortunately given the uncertainty which many people still feel about the country’s altered status it only takes one hint of a shortage to spark panic-buying, which is precisely what we saw earlier this week,” he said.

“There is no doubt that the shortage of HGV drivers is going to have an impact on food supplies for some time to come. But again, there is no shortage of food, merely unprecedented pressure on the haulage industry which means orders cannot be fulfilled as promptly as they used to be.

“It is not a problem that is exclusive to the UK: lorry drivers are in short supply across Europe, notably in Poland but also in France and Germany.

“The added complication we have is that post-Brexit continental drivers are reluctant to deliver to the UK because the paperwork at the border crossings can delay them, lengthen their journey times and in some cases reduce their earnings.”

Mr Liddell-Grainger said most short-term supply problems could be overcome by careful planning.

“People may need to order ahead to be sure of getting the food they want when they need it. It may be an alien process to anyone who has been in the habit of merely walking into a shop and picking up whatever they have required at any time of the day or night.

“But until things settle down – as they eventually will – that is the way we need to be thinking. If a significant section of the population switches to doing things that way we need not be unduly worried by temporary shortages and it will probably do more to return life to normal than recruiting an army of new lorry drivers.”

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