Britain was brutally mocked by a French newspaper on Friday as it blamed the ongoing crises and shortages in the UK on Brexit.
Libération, a popular French daily paper, ran a front page with an empty toilet paper roll and the headline which read “Brexit: Les lendemains qui dechantent.”
This translates to ‘Brexit: The disappointing tomorrows’.
It summarises the UK’s current crises – including labour shortages, disrupted logistics chain, missing products, departures of European citizens and the ongoing consequences from Covid – and concludes that Britain is starting to see “concrete consequences” of leaving the EU.
The UK is facing a series of crises at the moment.
The looming energy and gas shortage, an insufficient number of lorry drivers and the subsequent empty supermarket shelves have left many fearing Britain is on the cusp of a “winter of discontent”.
Downing Street has even encouraged the public not to start panic buying.
Yet, the Libération’s front page goes against the claims from the transport secretary Grant Shapps, who has alleged that Brexit has alleviated the HGV driver shortage – a problem behind many of the UK’s current distribution issues – rather than worsened it.
He told Sky News on Friday: “I’ve seen people point to Brexit as if it is the culprit here, in fact they are wrong.
“Not only are there very large, and even larger shortages in other EU countries like Poland and Germany, which clearly can’t be to do with Brexit, but actually because of Brexit I’ve been able to change the law to alter the way our driving tests operate in a way I could not have done if we were still part of the EU.”
He claimed: “So Brexit actually has provided part of the solution of giving more slots available for HGV tests and a lot more, twice as many tests available now than before the pandemic and a large proportion of those we have only been able to do because we are not in the EU.”
This is not the first time France has hit out at the UK recently.
Not only did the two countries clash regularly throughout the Brexit negotiations, in the last few weeks the governments have come to blows over both the international submarine AUKUS pact – which France was cut out of – and the migrant crisis by the English Channel.