London. The British government has rejected calls from retail and logistics companies to temporarily relax post-Brexit immigration rules, which it says are contributing to a truck driver shortage and seriously disrupting supply chains.
Fast food chains McDonald’s, Kentucky and Nando’s, as well as bakery chain Greggs, are among those that suffered outages this week due to suppliers’ problems to meet deliveries.
The UK’s Logistics Authority said Britain currently has a shortfall of 90,000 truck drivers. On August 22, they together with the British Retail Consortium asked the government to grant temporary visas to truck drivers from the European Union.
Since January 1, most EU citizens planning to work in Britain need visas that are generally only available for higher paying jobs than those in the logistics and hospitality sectors.
Britain’s Department of Business said on Saturday that it does not expect these visa rules to change.
A government spokesperson said: “We want employers to make long-term investments in the UK’s local workforce rather than relying on foreign labour.”
The Times reported over the weekend that the government is considering moving ahead with a review of visa rules to address the shortfall.
Alex Veitch, director general of public policy at Logistics UK, said he was disappointed with the government’s decision.
From supermarkets to restaurants to factories, shortages in the UK are being exacerbated by problems in the supply chain caused by Brexit and the pandemic.
McDonald’s, the sin of Maltedas
Hamburger King McDonald’s announced Tuesday that it will not be able to serve juice or bottled drinks in 1,250 UK stores for now.
Nando’s restaurant chain had to close about 50 establishments last week due to a shortage of chicken, which was attributed to a shortage of workers in the supplier companies.
US chain KFC recently warned that logistical difficulties were causing a shortage of some menu items and that Novikov’s high-end restaurants were running out of wagyu meat.
Supermarket chain Tesco or Amazon has no qualms about the promising rewards of hiring the drivers and warehouse workers they need.
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