I like this piece, 20 reasons why there is shortage of drivers in the UK. In the media the shortage is being presented as either down to the 'pingdemic' or Brexit, depending on your ideological position. It's a bit more complicated than that though.
Of the twenty reasons Oryński gives, only one is COVID and half a dozen are Brexit related. The others are long-standing issues about working conditions and employer relations. If they had been addressed earlier, the system might have been more resilient to the temporary shock of COVID but probably nothing could have stemmed the damage of the permanent impact of Brexit. Especially when it was imposed without proper preparation and against all expert advice. It's not just the new trade barriers that are a shock, it's the interaction with structural weaknesses that were already present. And just as the shock was radical, so is the response.
And here lies the problem. COVID will end, but the social and economic impact of Brexit is long lasting. Once people and businesses have left, once the investment has flowed out to the EU to stay in the single market, they won't ever come back. We could rejoin tomorrow, but they have gone forever. The UK's reputation is ruined. Why return? Especially for people who have experienced this:
Brexit had opened a black hole into the deepest layers of British society that we haven’t seen before. The level of harassment and hate crime has risen to unprecedented levels. If you were European, would you really want to come to the country where at every little step – from dealing with Home Office and Border Forces to the trip to your local pub – you can be reminded in a very clear manner, that you’re not welcome here?
The result is that we get caught up in a vortex of utter bollocks, convenient ignorance expressed with all the confidence that privileged inexpertise brings with it. And we all have to live with the consequences of their attempt to impose their fantasy worlds on people living in the real one.