Fruit and Vegetable farms in the English countryside are struggling with shortage of man power as all their European employess who work the farms, pick and pack the fruits have left saying they “don’t feel welcome” in Britain anymore after a bitter and hard Brexit that has swung Britain to the far right and led to the empowering and rejuvenation of far right parties like the UKIP and the notorious British National Party.
The British National Party has now recorded thousands of new recruits and sympathisers following the triggering of article 50 and their fans have boasted of having sympathisers in high places as far as Parliament.
The labour crisis brought on by Brexit was inevitable. Fruit picking, packing and many other farm labour jobs are filled and dominated by mostly Eastern Europeans especially Poles and Romanians. Many British gentlemen don’t like to engage in fruit picking and farm labour.
At the same time, Many British people who can’t find “regular” jobs are on the dole, drawing unemployment benefits and the like and that is the issue the Department of Work and Pensions is looking to address.
If the people on benefits, the youth, the pensioners can be bussed to the countryside to fill in for the labour shortage while earning a genuine living is one of the strategies that the Department of Work and Pensions is examining.
This idea has been suggested before but was always dismissed as we still had plenty of European labourers.
Conservative MP Owen Paterson wanted to get pensioners to pick fruit for less than the minimum wage when he was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, according to a forthcoming book by a Coalition Government colleague.
Mr Paterson suggested the idea to the Cabinet in 2013 to help cut immigration, the book by David Laws, who was a Liberal Democrat minister at the time, claims.
However the North Shropshire MP dismissed the account, saying it was “completely wrong”.
In his memoir, which was serialised by The Mail on Sunday, Mr Laws wrote that Mr Paterson said he wanted to abolish the Agricultural Workers Scheme, which allowed Eastern European workers to come to the UK to do jobs like harvesting fruit and vegetables.
So while some people will call this a ridiculous idea and unfounded, the situation will determine what action the government takes and if there’s no labourers, desperate measures will be taken.
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