Johnson vows to recast the UK economy

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday gathered his Conservative party supporters and promised a major overhaul to wean the UK economy from cheap foreign labor after Brexit. Shaking off panic buying at gas stations, empty supermarket shelves and retailer warnings of a gloomy Christmas, the Tory leader said the short-term pain was worth it.
At the close of the Conservatives’ Annual Conference, their first in-person event since 2019 over the coronavirus pandemic, Johnson was in characteristically bullish form with a series of partisan tweezers hurled against the opposition Labor Party.
There was little new political detail in the 45-minute speech, apart from a “leveling out” bonus for hiring math and science teachers in deprived areas and promises of a new road and rail infrastructure program in the former Labor stronghold in Northern england.
In a broader sense, Johnson formulated a narrative that Britain’s exit from the European Union represents a historic opportunity to reshape the country.
“We are dealing with the biggest underlying problems in our economy and society, the problems that no government has dared to tackle,” he said.
“We are now starting the long overdue change of direction in the UK economy,” he added, vowing he would not revert to the “uncontrolled immigration” model before Brexit.
Instead, UK companies must invest in their workforce and technology to propel the country “towards a high-wage, highly skilled and highly productive economy”. However, Johnson warned that the transition will take time.
In the meantime, the government has reluctantly agreed to a limited number of short-term visas to attract truckers and poultry workers from Eastern Europe.

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