Profanity is uncommon on the rarefied radio waves of the BBC, so any swear words on the network’s flagship news programme, Today on Radio 4, are sure to shock.

So it was perhaps inevitable that some colourful comments made during a segment on the United Kingdom’s petrol crunch this week would go viral.

“The EU workers we speak to,” said Edwin Atema of the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV, which represents lorry drivers), “will not go to the UK for a short-term visa to help [the] UK out of the shit they created themselves.”

The blunt description captured the underlying tone of much of the international response to the UK government’s plan for addressing labour shortfalls that have left petrol stations dry and supermarkets bare

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