UK plans to grant 5,000 temporary visas due to shortage of truck drivers

Local media reported that the United Kingdom plans to grant up to 5,000 visas temporarily to attract foreign truck drivers, in the face of growing shortages due to the pandemic and Britain’s exit from the European Union, affecting fuel and food supplies.

The measure represents a fundamental change in policy for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has tightened immigration rules after the country’s exit from the European Union (EU) and reiterated the need to end dependence on foreign labour.

However, the shortage caused by the lack of drivers, which affected the agri-food sector, as well as the energy sector, causing the closure of many service stations, prompted the government to take measures.

Huge lines have formed in recent days in front of gas stations, Telam news agency said, as Britons, ignoring calls for calm, refuel.

And in the face of this situation, the British government said, yesterday, “It is studying temporary measures to avoid immediate problems.”

Johnson’s spokesman stressed that any action would be “very limited in time”, while also stressing that the country had “a significant stockpile of fuel” and that “there is no shortage”.

In this sense, the plan is to issue about 5,000 temporary visas, despite the fact that the business group in the sector estimates that at least 100,000 truck drivers for heavy vehicles will be needed to restore a situation worsened by the pandemic and Brexit, the series reported by the British BBC.

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