McDonald’s locations in England, Wales and Scotland are temporarily no longer serving milkshakes and bottled drinks due to supply chain and logistic issues that were largely caused by Brexit.
McDonald’s said that supply chain problems were impacting the availability of a small number of items, and they are working hard to return the items to menus as soon as possible.
McDonald’s is not alone when it comes to supply chain concerns. All over the UK, there is a shortage in HGV (heavy goods vehicle) truck drivers, who are critical to delivering supplies to restaurants and chains for meal preparation.
Brexit is one of the main reasons for the shortage in HGV drivers. The latest Brexit deal led 25,000 EU truck drivers to return to their home countries, according to the Financial Times.
According to the BBC, the Road Haulage Association estimates there is now a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers in the UK, out of a pre-pandemic total of about 600,000. That number included tens of thousands of drivers from EU member states who were living and working in the UK.
McDonald’s not alone in dealing with Brexit problems
But McDonald’s is not alone in trying to deal with supply chain problems. There are now warnings from companies and hauliers that they can no longer guarantee all pick-ups and deliveries.
Among those speaking up in recent weeks have been the supermarket chain Tesco, and the candy manufacturer Haribo. Concern has also been expressed by farmers, by the construction sector and by manufacturers, who rely on a tight schedule of deliveries.
Industry leaders and lobbyists have been calling on the British government to allow more immigrant drivers to fill this labor shortage, but the government has instead decided to focus on streamlining the HGV driver certification process and increasing the number of tests, says the BBC.
Supermarket chains in the UK like Tesco are offering bonuses of over $1,000 to incentivize truck drivers to continue delivering goods.
Brexit is not of course not the only reason for the supply chain problems in the UK. Around 30,000 HGV driving tests were cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, and many drivers were notified by the UK health authorities to isolate after a potential COVID exposure, according to a BBC report.
Brexit to likely harm the UK economy
Brexit marked the formal withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) at 23:00 January 31, 2020.
The UK is the first and so far only country to have left the EU, after 47 years of having been a member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Communities (EC), since January 1, 1973.
The effects of Brexit will in part be determined by the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which was signed on December 30, 2020, and was provisionally applied from January 1, 2021, when the Brexit transition period ended, before formally entering into force on May 1,2021, after the ratification processes on both sides were completed.
The broad consensus among economists is that Brexit will likely harm the UK’s economy and reduce its real per capita income in the long term, and that the referendum itself damaged the economy.