'Panadol's my best friend': Caller says he's hired EU staff to avoid Brexit 'headache'

22 June 2022, 16:36 | Updated: 22 June 2022, 17:06

By Tim Dodd

This hospitality businessman says Brexit has led him to hire four staff from Holland instead of the UK to avoid trade bureaucracy.

It comes as new research claims Britain’s cost of living crisis is being made worse by Brexit costing workers hundreds of pounds and dragging down the country’s growth potential.

Hospitality businessman Steve, in Hemel, said he'd seen his industry "decimated, not just due to Covid, due to Brexit".

"We supply hotels. I've got clients that have a 250 room hotel, it's open with 100 rooms simply because they cannot get staff because of EU visas," he said.

"All of the EU workers that were here didn't feel welcome. So once Covid hit, they left."

Shelagh asked whether it was Covid or Brexit that made people leave and not return.

Read more: Govt 'planning to relax controls on City boss pay' whilst calling for restraint on pay rises

Steve said: "Covid hits, hotels close, some of them weren't furloughed, some of them were made redundant too, so they've got a choice of do I stay in London or in the UK with higher costs of living or do I go back to wherever it is where they're from.

"I've got clients all over Europe, and before, I used to send one email 'please come and collect this pallet, deliver it here'.

"I'd get a reply 'yep, we're coming tomorrow'. And say, if it was on a Monday, by the Friday it was there, no problem.

"Now, first of all you call the courier to collect, you've got to fill in paperwork which takes hours, not minutes, hours. Then you've got to put custom codes, you've got to put duty codes, where it is made, how much does it weigh.

"You've got to fill all that and send it off. Someone's got to approve it, then it comes back 'yep we're coming to collect your pallet on Thursday'."

"It's just a headache. Panadol's my best friend," Steve concluded.

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