UK in period of adjustment after Brexit, UK PM says

Boris Johnson

© APA | Boris Johnson

# 04 October 2021 08:17 (UTC +04:00)

Boris Johnson says the UK is in a "period of adjustment" after Brexit and Covid as the country faces petrol shortages and supply chain issues, APA reports citing BBC.

A lack of HGV drivers and high demand plunged the UK into a fuel crisis last week, with lengthy queues and closures.

Worries persist about the cost of living, as food and energy prices rise, alongside cuts to universal credit.

But the PM insisted his plan for a higher wage, higher skilled economy would offer a long-term solution.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr on the first day of Conservative Party conference, Mr Johnson said: "There will be a period of adjustment, but that is what I think we need to see."

He would not say if supply issues would affect Christmas, but later told reporters he was "very confident" the festive season would be "considerably better" than last year.

A few thousand people held an anti-government protest outside the event in Manchester on Sunday, where the Tories will be hosting party members until Wednesday.

The PM also refused to rule out raising taxes again just three weeks before Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces his annual Budget.

He said he was a "zealous opponent of unnecessary tax rises", but warned the pandemic had hit the UK's economy like a "fiscal meteorite".

Last month, the government announced it would be raising National Insurance to pay for health and social care.

At the time, when asked whether he would rule out additional taxes, Mr Johnson said he could give an "emotional commitment" that he did not want to introduce further rises.

Earlier this year Mr Sunak also froze income tax thresholds - leading to more people paying the levy - and the extra £20 weekly universal credit payment, brought in during the pandemic, is due to end this week.

Asked on Sunday by Andrew Marr if he would raise taxes again, Mr Johnson replied: "If I can possibly avoid it, I do not want to raise taxes again."

The PM added: "I can tell you that you have no fiercer and more zealous opponent of unnecessary tax rises than me, but we have had to deal with a pandemic on a scale which this country has not seen before in our lifetimes and long before.

"We don't want to raise taxes, of course we don't, but what we will not do is be irresponsible with the public finances."