Former boss Simon Wolfson has urged politicians to “avoid descent” into Brexit bitterness amid concerns over fuel shortages and food supplies for Christmas.
In an article for the Evening Standard, Lord Wolfson, chief executive of the clothing retailer, said that the debate about immigration stemmed from a shortage of HGV drivers “to the referendum battle lines, with politicians increasingly irrational, intrusive and divided. “Raises the risk of slipping back. .
While the government has announced plans to ease immigration controls to help speed up supplies to 5,000 foreign drivers in the UK, the prime minister has said ministers will not “reach the lever called uncontrolled immigration”.
But Lord Wolfson, a prominent Brexiteer who nonetheless argued against reducing immigration, said businesses should be allowed to hire employees from overseas to fill the gap in exchange for paying a visa tax.
He added: “My concern is that our political leaders will become so caught up in the heat of argument that they will miss out on solutions.
“The answer is to create a demand-based system that allows our economy to draw in the talent we really need.”
He said allowing businesses to assess what skills are needed would put pressure on the government to decide which workers are eligible to work in the UK.