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While the government continues to reject the idea that Brexit is responsible for the ongoing fuel crisis, HGV driver shortages and fears over Christmas shortages, the rest of the world has been blamed the UK’s exit from the EU.
Several factors including Covid and the unappealing lifestyle attaching to HGV driving have contributed to Britain’s current issues, but Brexit has exacerbated it by reducing the British workforce significantly.
The New Yorker was praised for its cartoon last week, which depicted prime minister Boris Johnson speaking at a podium with the Union Jack behind him.
The caption, pretending to be Johnson, read: “The shortages are all British made and British owned, and that’s something we can be incredibly proud of.”
The satire strikes close to home as one of the key Brexit campaign arguments was focusing on employing British people for jobs in the UK. The government has now introduced a three-month temporary visa to encourage overseas drivers to come to Britain to work.
LBC commentator James O-Brien described the cartoon as “closer to reporting that satire”.
I think this, from the New Yorker, might be closer to reporting than satire. pic.twitter.com/TuC2JHipMR
— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) October 1, 2021
Another Twitter user claimed a Slovakian newspaper had shared a cartoon from last Wednesday, depicting a crying British bulldog in a bowler hat and an empty food bowl with a Union Jack on it.
The account claimed: “We have become a laughing stock>”
Britain as seen by a Slovak newspaper on Wednesday. We have become a laughing stock. pic.twitter.com/XfQ2zenLrU
— 𝙈𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙣 𝙊𝙩𝙩 (@martinott) October 1, 2021
On Sunday, Dutch cartoonist Erwin Vanmol tweeted a cartoon of empty supermarket shelves with the ‘Mind The Gap’ phrase usually seen at London tube stations, but on this occasion in reference to the major distribution problems across the UK.
She added hashtags which read: ”#BrexitFuelShortages #BrexitChaos #Brexitcrisis #Brexit.”
— Erwin Vanmol (Hij/Ger) (@Vanmoltoons) October 3, 2021
German cartoonist Klaus Stuttmann shared a cartoon of Johnson standing next to petrol pumps which have been sealed off on Sunday.
The caption read: “Super! That was our Brexit goal: More climate protection for the UK!”
Downing Street has been promoting Brexit Britain as a leading nation when it comes to tackle climate change ahead of the UN’s climate summit COP26.
— TheBossRoss 🇪🇺 🧶 ❄ 📷 (@BettinaSRoss1) October 4, 2021
South African outlet New Frame also mocked Johnson when it published a cartoon of the prime minister presenting an empty plate to a customer in a pub last week.
Rather than food, Johnson appears to be offering a drawing of fish and chips to a disgruntled pub-goer, and saying: “Yes, but the marvellous thing about your fish and chips is that it was made entirely without immigrant labour!”
In this week’s cartoon by @CarlosCartoons, Brexit continues to munch on the British economy, which faces a shortage of petrol truckers and farmworkers as European Union migrants must remain on the continent.#BrexitReality#EUhttps://t.co/837erwkuBv
— @NewFrame_News (@NewFrame_News) September 28, 2021
A cartoon for German National Day, October 3, marking the unification of East and West Germany back in 1990, took aim at the current shortages too.
A travel agent addressed customers and said: “For the Day of Unity we recommend trying British supermarkets so that you can get that feeling of being in East Germany again.”
East Germany suffered from severe poverty compared to the West in the years after World War 2.
🇩🇪How others see us🇩🇪
Cartoon for German national day, 3 Oct, marking unification of East & West Germany, 1990:
Travel agent to customers:
“For the Day of Unity we recommend trips to empty British supermarkets, so that you can get that feeling of being in East Germany again”. pic.twitter.com/u6EuCLz5o2
— Andrew Levi (@AndrewPRLevi) October 4, 2021
Away from the scathing cartoons, media outlets around the world have echoed a similar message in recent days.
The leading US broadcaster CNN claimed Britain was suffering more than its European neighbours due to Brexit.
It explained: “Worker shortages, for example, were not an inevitable outcome of Brexit. But the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system was designed to reduce the numbers of unskilled workers coming to Britain.”
Spain’s El Pais criticised Downing Street’s “reluctance to accept that Brexit has anything to do with the fuel crisis”, while Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant said the crises showed the “madness of stepping out of the single market with its free movement of goods and people”.
Speaking on a German news show, ARD’s Tagesthemen, Gabi Kostorz said: “One is tempted to tell the British: ’You have only yourselves to blame. We tried to talk you out of it but you decided otherwise. Now you have to face consequences.”
„Britische Regierung und Medien suchen die Ursachen woanders. Nur nicht bei sich.“ Die Meinung von Gabi Kostorz zu den Benzinengpässen in Großbritannien. (red) pic.twitter.com/2V8xvrcmTH
— tagesthemen (@tagesthemen) September 28, 2021
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.