Business Secretary: Supply chain crisis 'has nothing to do with Brexit'

10 October 2021, 12:55

Business Sec pressed on whether shortages could have been avoided

By Seán Hickey

Kwasi Kwarteng MP stresses on LBC that current energy, food and staff shortages are caused by post-Covid teething problems – not Brexit.

Tom Swarbrick put to Business Secretary and Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng that "people were saying prior to the referendum happening...there would be issues with various jobs." He wondered whether the government predicted the current supply chain crisis whilst advocating for Brexit.

Mr Kwarteng was speaking to LBC after a meeting with industry leaders to address acute issues related to the current energy crisis.

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"The situation has been exacerbated by Covid-19" Mr Kwarteng insisted, explaining that in many circumstances "there's a huge increase in demand, and supply can't catch up with that demand."

"This is a global problem and I think it's been massively exacerbated by the Covid recovery" the Tory MP insisted.

"I find that really surprising given the warnings we've had," Tom replied, adding that "this situation was coming, we knew shortages were coming."

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Mr Kwarteng shrugged off Tom's contestations: "I don't want to refight the Brexit debate."

"The acute shortages we're seeing now have nothing to do with Brexit. Nothing to do with that."

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He explained that "we're seeing acute shortages in some parts of the world" and because of this the current crisis cannot be blamed in any part on Brexit.

"This is all part of a global supply chain issue brought about by the post-Covid recovery" he reiterated.

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