According to the BBC, France finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, believes that exiting the single market after Brexit has exacerbated the UK’s supply chain issue.
“We’re in the same boat,” he remarked during the G7 summit in Washington.
“However, the fact that we are a member of a major single market aids us in overcoming these obstacles.”
Due to a backlog at UK ports and a scarcity of lorry drivers, UK merchants have warned of possible shortages in the run-up to Christmas.
“I think it’s benefiting us because it gives us access to other labor markets,” Mr Le Maire said. “When you’re looking for additional workers in restaurants, hotels, or truck drivers, for example, you have access to other labor markets.”
Several British businesses have warned that supply issues might lead to shortages over the Christmas shopping season.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak told news outlets at the same occasion earlier this week that customers should rest confident that ministers are doing “absolutely all we can” to address supply chain concerns.
Mr Sunak blamed global causes for delays at ports like Felixstowe, but said that “a good number of Christmas presents would be accessible for everyone to buy.”
Mr. Le Maire also stated that Europe, rather than the United Kingdom, will be one of the world’s three major economic powers.
Mr Le Maire added, “I don’t want to criticize the British approach since it is a sovereign choice taken by the British people.”
“But, when you look at the current international scenario, you have the United States on one side and the development of China on the other, there is only one position left – and it will not be for the United Kingdom. This will be for the benefit of Europe. Let’s be quite clear about this.”
G7 finance ministers, according to Mr. Le Maire, also discussed a new plan to permanently reduce reliance on east Asia and China, particularly through pooling supply chains and manufacturing.
“We have the same ideals within the G7, among European nations, and we share the same perspective on economic challenges related to trade,” he added. “Building these new value chains among partners and friends may be one of the solutions.”
Mr. Le Maire again stressed the need of countries cooperating on large initiatives.
“You need to pool your efforts – you need massive financial expenditures that no one nation can undertake,” Mr Le Maire said, citing the high cost of investing in emerging technologies such as hydrogen, artificial intelligence, and the cloud as examples.
“When it comes to being more self-sufficient in semiconductor manufacture, you need to put €50 billion (£42.4 billion) on the table only to develop new chip facilities, which implies that between China and the United States, there is only one location left, and I believe it will be for Europe.”
On Wednesday, the G7 finance ministers decided to work closely together to address the problem by making supply chains more robust.
The G7 (Group of Seven) is an association of the world’s seven most developed economies. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States are the countries involved. Ministers and officials from member nations meet, make agreements, and issue unified statements in response to world events.