Boris Johnson: ‘This Christmas Will Be Considerably Better Than Last Christmas’

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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Boris Johnson: ‘This Christmas Will Be Considerably Better Than Last Christmas'” – below is their description.

Boris Johnson: “This Christmas will be considerably better than last Christmas.”

Reporter: “Well, that was a low bar.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he won’t fall back on immigration to solve the U.K.’s truck driver shortage, as he presented supply chain troubles that have left supermarket shelves bare and gas stations dry as a “period of adjustment” in the wake of Brexit and the pandemic.

The government has struggled to show it has a grip of the crisis, with images of long queues for petrol threatening to undermine the ruling Conservative Party — which has long campaigned on the promise of economic competence — as it holds its annual conference starting Sunday in Manchester.

But Johnson’s comments on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show indicate he’s not looking for a quick fix, instead arguing that driver shortages bolster the case for a broader industry overhaul, including better pay and conditions. Brexit offers the chance to move on from a “broken model,” he said.

“The way forward for our country is not to just pull the big lever marked ‘uncontrolled immigration,’” Johnson said, referring to the U.K.’s membership of the European Union.

“When people voted for change in 2016 and when people voted for change again in 2019, they voted for the end of a broken model of the U.K. economy that relied on low wages and low skills and chronic low productivity — and we’re moving away from that,” he said.

In a later clip to broadcasters, the prime minister pushed back on companies’ demand for more foreign workers to be allowed into the U.K. — although he didn’t rule it out.

“Fundamentally it’s up to them to work out the way,” he said. “Those industries are the best solvers of their own supply chains. We will certainly keep all options on the table.”

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