The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, continues his rest days in Spain, in the famous and touristic Costa del Sol, where his stay has generated some discomfort while in the United Kingdom the controversy continues over the supply crisis. The fuel shortage is compounded by problems in sectors as diverse as toys and poultry, which produce and market high-consumption goods at Christmas and are being harmed by the lack of labor.
Stay in Benahavís
Johnson has been staying since last Thursday in a luxurious villa in Benahavís, a town bordering Marbella, in the coastal province of Malaga. It is an unofficial visit, so there has been no contact between authorities. An image of the prime minister painting barely went viral on social networks, which was a source of ridicule but also criticism.
In one of his main notes this Wednesday, the tabloid Daily Mirror he even said of the prime minister: “Winston Churchill was photographed painting in Morocco in the 1960s, although Johnson may have been trying to emulate the Congo chimpanzee., another enthusiastic hobbyist who became famous for his artwork in the 1950s. ” The country, choosing a more serious tone, he titled: “Boris Johnson spends a week in Marbella with his family as the United Kingdom faces its biggest crisis since the pandemic.”
The farm of 600 hectares to which Johnson arrived accompanied by his current wife, Carrie Symonds, and their seventeen-month-old son, belongs to Zac Goldsmith, UK Secretary of State for the Environment and personal friend of the family. Renowned personalities from politics, film and even the British Crown stayed there, such as Princess Diana of Wales and actor Hugh Grant.
Meanwhile, the crisis
Johnson’s Paradise Vacation, a great defender of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, They arrive amid a worrying supply crisis in their country. “The prime minister is in charge, as always, of government affairs,” explained a Downing Street spokesman from London, seeking to bring calm to the British.
“The prime minister has been regularly informed about ongoing work to address current fuel and supply chain problems,” the spokesman added, avoiding comment on Johnson’s trip to Spain.
Quite the contrary, the Labor MP Bridget Phillipson asked “urgent answers on who exactly is in charge of the show” in the absence of Johnson. Phillipson chastised the president for “closing the government office amid a crisis of his own making.”
The blockade in several British ports (including Felixstowe, the UK’s main commercial port) threatens the distribution of products for Christmas. Gary Grant, head of the toy sales company The Entertainer, said that, although the stores are now full, “demand will exceed stocks” because “there are not enough carriers” to perform the distribution.
According to the BBC the port of Felixstowe, in the south-east of England, has about 50 thousand containers pending to be picked up by truckers, which causes a saturation of the storage facilities and eventual delays in the transport of the products to their final destination. To avoid that situation, Danish shipping giant Maersk is redirecting its largest ships to ports in the Netherlands and Belgium to be unloaded there and the goods transported back to the UK in smaller ships, according to the Financial Times.
Business associations estimate that in the UK there is currently a deficit of about 100,000 carriers, which has caused a shortage at service stations, which days ago had long lines of drivers to load fuel. This shortage, generated by the pandemic and Brexit as well as a delay in licensing, led the British government to offer 5,000 temporary visas for foreign truckers, while speeding up driving tests for British candidates.
Not even the Christmas turkey is saved from the crisis. At Flower Farm, in the heart of the English countryside, worry reigns. Its owner, Patrick Deeley, you still don’t have enough staff to distribute your poultry. “I am not sure I will have the necessary staff for the work before the holidays, the pressure is going to be strong”, explains this farmer from Surrey, in the south of the United Kingdom.
For more than 15 years, Deeley hired workers from the European Union, but this year he could not find any. If many workers left the sector or even the country during the stoppages imposed by the pandemic, the farmer He declares himself convinced that Brexit is also an important factor “because one of its main consequences is the massive loss of labor.”