“Airports across Europe have also had the same queues, so if it was just a Brexit issue, then that wouldn’t be the case”

Grant Shapps, Sky News

July 12, 2022

Facts

Shapps claimed that Brexit was not to blame for recent issues in airports, including long queues, staff shortages and cancelled flights.

Shapps’ assertion that Brexit was not to cause for recent issues is disputed by industry voices. The CEO of Ryanair states that Brexit is one of ‘the big bugbears’ and has introduced ‘market inflexibility’ through stopping European labour supply. The CEO of EasyJet claims that Brexit has caused issues with employment. This has meant ‘a huge number of EU nationals’ were rejected from employment due to Brexit. Companies Jet2 and Wizz Air adopt a similar line in blaming Brexit for issues at airports. The OAG, an airline statistical agency, reports that the UK has fared worse than other European nations.

Verdict

Shapps’ claim that Brexit is not the cause of airport issues is disputed by the airline industry. Staff shortages are common across Europe, but the UK faces these more acutely. This is due to limits on labour migration introduced by Brexit combined with other Brexit-induced changes, including increased airport security checks. 

We approached Grant Shapps' office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response.

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