With the Christmas season approaching, people are looking forward to the decorations, family gatherings, gifts, and their favorite holiday foods. However, locals in the United Kingdom may have to sacrifice some of their favorites. The lack of butchers in the UK could lead to a shortage of pigs in blankets, hams and all other holiday foods this Christmas. Visa restrictions caused by Brexit could contribute to this shortage. Concerned about the coming shortage, ministers are now trying to draw up plans to ease visa restrictions for at least 1,000 butchers, allowing them to return to the UK.
According to the British Meat Processors Association, the industry is at least 15,000 workers short at this point. The result is a massive void in the supply chain, which can be seen on the shelves of supermarkets. As of right now, the industry is solely focused on fulfilling the basic needs of stocking shelves, and the additional demand of the holiday season could prove impossible. There will be shortages of party foods and things like pigs in blankets. Anything that is labor-intensive could also be affected, a BMPA spokesperson told The Times.
Despite reports that the government is drawing plans to ease restrictions, some media reports claim that Home Secretary Priti Patel is opposed to easing restrictions. However, the Home Office claims it is ‘closely monitoring labour supply and working with sector leaders to understand how we can best ease particular pinch points’.This has occurred at a time when the UK is already facing a fuel crisis due to visa problems faced by lorry drivers.