UK eyes visa change over trucker drought

·1-min read

The UK government is expected to ease visa rules for truck drivers to help fix supply-chain problems that have triggered long lines at service stations and some shuttered pumps.

The government said late on Friday it was "looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems". It said any action it took would be "very strictly time-limited".

The haulage industry says the UK is short tens of thousands of truckers, due to a perfect storm of factors including the coronavirus pandemic, an ageing workforce and an exodus of foreign workers following Britain's departure from the European Union.

Post-Brexit immigration rules mean EU citizens can no longer live and work visa-free in Britain, as they could when the UK was a member of the trade bloc.

Trucking companies have been urging the Conservative government to ease immigration rules so drivers can more easily be recruited from across Europe.

Britain's farming and food processing industries, which are short of fruit-pickers and meat-packers, have made similar requests.

The government has resisted, saying British workers should be trained up to take the jobs. It has stressed that Britain is not short of fuel, but that has not stopped motorists forming lines at petrol stations to fill up just in case.

Sporadic supply chains at supermarkets and other shops starting several weeks ago also were attributed to a lack of delivery drivers.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting