As a presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Campbell suggested to the chancellor that the fuel crisis,HGV driver shortage and pork-related issues all stem from the UK’s departure from the EU last year.
Campbell claimed those warnings have now come materialised even though the UK secured a deal with the EU.
He said: “I reread Operation Yellowhammer last night, which was a preparation by the government in the event of no-deal.
“Now you got a deal and you told us it was a great deal.
“This is what it warned of: disruption to channel crossings; delays for lorries entering the UK; delays on immigration; disruption to fuel supplies, fuelling panic buying; possibly public disorder; electricity price rises; delays to medicine supplies; reduction in supply of fresh foods; supermarket price rises; fishing wars; breakdown in law enforcement on data; which of those has not happened, and which of them has anything to do with Brexit?”
Sunak replied by claiming Campbell was particularly interested in Brexit, as a prominent Remainer.
He then deflected the accusations by suggesting the majority of issues stemmed from the HGV driver shortage.
The chancellor continued: “HGV drivers is an issue that we’re not just grappling here in the UK.”
While other European nations have reported a shortage of lorry drivers, Sunak was unable to name another nation in Europe which has resorted to bringing in the Army to alleviate the fuel crisis like Britain – a move which hinted at just how serious the distribution issues are in the UK.
However, Sunak said “trying to blame” the driver shortage “on Brexit I don’t think is unreasonable”.
Campbell asked: “So it’s got nothing to do with Brexit?”
Sunak then conceded: “It’s certainly not exclusively because of Brexit.”
When Operation Yellowhammer was leaked to The Sunday Times in August 2019, there was widespread concern over what the UK might actually look like after Brexit.
Michael Gove – then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – tried to reduce the national panic, and told the House of Commons: “Operation Yellowhammer assumptions are not a prediction of what is likely to happen, they are not a best-case scenario or a list of probable outcomes, they are projections of what may happen in a worst-case scenario.”
But the driver shortage is thought to be a culmination of different factors.
Brexit meant many UK-based EU employees left Britain, shrinking the workforce within several industries, while Covid has caused a significant backlog among those who want to take the HGV driving test.
The lifestyle attached to HGV driving also means that it has become an unpopular career path.