Some beer drinkers will be disappointed if they head to a Wetherspoons this week, as the pub chain is facing shortages of some brands of beer
Pints of both Carling and Coors beer are unavailable in some branches, with the problem due to a lack of UK lorry drivers.
JD Wetherspoon is just the latest UK business to have to deal with shortages.
McDonald’s has recently ran out of milkshakes, while Nando’s had to close some of its restaurants, as a result of a lack of chicken, while the boss of the Co-op has said that shortages are ‘at a worse level than at any time I have seen.’
With the pandemic and Brexit taking their toll, the UK is short of more than 100,000 HGV drivers.
Before the pandemic, there were around 600,000 working drivers, according to the Road Haulage Association.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: ‘We are experiencing some supply problems with both Carling and Coors, which means that some pubs do not have the products available.
‘We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused.
‘We know that the brewers are trying to resolve the issue.’
This comes after a young Nazi sympathizer from Lincoln who had downloaded bomb-making instructions has now been sentenced to read classic novels, such as Pride and Prejudice instead
Graham Hughes shared a photo of a sign from a Wetherspoons pub on Twitter which said: ‘We regret to inform you that we are out of stock of Carling, Coors and Bud Light.
‘Due to supply issues regards to lack of lorry drivers and strike action which are out of our control [sic]’.
Tim Martin, the founder of Wetherspoons, was a key backer of Brexit before the referendum. The chain printed 200,000 beer mats urging people to ‘take back control’ in 2016.
But he may not love every aspect of the decision now that it has actually happened.
Many lorry drivers from EU countries returned to the continent during the pandemic and remained there.
As it became less simple to live and work in Britain, there are also fewer people relocating.
In addition to Brexit woes, the pandemic has caused a backlog of drivers being able to take their HGV test and led to many people self-isolating and unable to work.
The current average age of a HGV drivers in the UK is 55 and ministers are concerned an ageing workforce needs replacing.
A review of the Shortage Occupations List, which sets out jobs where overseas workers can apply for visas, is not due until next year.
Some supermarkets are calling for lorry drivers to be included on the list so that migration can help plug the gap.
But according to the Financial Times, Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK’s Business Secretary, wrote to business leaders on Friday saying that foreign labour only offered a short-term, temporary solution’.
The newspaper said that Mr Kwarteng urged employers to help the ‘many UK-based workers (who) now face an uncertain future and need to find new employment opportunities.’
His letter comes ahead of the UK’s furlough scheme ending on September 30.
This comes after Geronimo the alpaca has been put down by vets under orders from the government. The animal was put down after it was taken from its farm in Gloucestershire, days before a destruction warrant ordering for its death was set to expire on the 4th of September.
A Government spokesperson said: ‘We have a highly resilient food supply chain and well-established ways of working with the food sector to address food supply chain disruptions.
‘We recently announced a package of measures to help tackle the HGV driver shortage, including plans to streamline the process for new drivers to gain their HGV licence and to increase the number of driving tests able to be conducted.
‘However, most of the solutions are likely to be driven by industry, with progress already being made in testing and hiring, and a big push towards improving pay, working conditions and diversity.
‘We want to see employers make long-term investments in the UK domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad, and our Plan for Jobs is helping people across the country retrain, build new skills and get back into work.’