The Prime Minister supports a crisis plan to ease visa regulations in order to address the driver shortage… and save Christmas.
The Prime Minister has authorized emergency steps to address food and fuel shortages that are threatening to paralyze the UK. Boris Johnson, fed up with the government’s dithering on the supply chain crisis, sought a solution to the shortage of 100,000 lorry drivers.
Fearing additional panic and a worsening of the economic crisis, the Prime Minister intervened with a plan to get the trucks moving again — and avoid bare shelves at Christmas. He supports a plan to relax immigration regulations for international hauliers in order to prevent panic buying at gas stations.
Temporary visas, according to Whitehall insiders, are “not a silver bullet,” but rather part of a larger package to get supplies moving again.
After meeting with senior Cabinet ministers yesterday, Mr Johnson is finalizing his ideas, and a formal announcement is expected soon.
The Prime Minister, on the other hand, is emphatic that such measures will be strictly time-limited.
“We believe in fairly paying British workers, and we will not give in to huge firms who want to reform immigration regulations to drive down wages,” a government source said.
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has been hesitant to loosen visa restrictions, although she is understood to back efforts to “address the problem.”
Immigration laws make up a small part of the package, but they’re included to keep supplies moving in time for Christmas, according to government sources. The measures will be temporary, and visas for some food processing workers in the poultry business are likely.
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Petrol forecourt closures, which were caused by a driver shortage rather than a lack of gasoline, are reported to have concentrated minds in the government.
“We have enough fuel reserves in this country, and the public should be reassured that there are no shortages,” a No 10 spokesman said.
“However, we, like other countries across the world, are experiencing a temporary Covid-related driver scarcity, which is preventing us from moving supplies around the country.
“We’re looking at interim solutions to avoid any immediate issues, but any solutions we implement will be absolutely time-limited.
“We are now transitioning to a high-wage, high-skilled economy, and businesses must adapt by investing more in recruitment and training to ensure long-term viability.”
Ministers have already accelerated the process of obtaining an HGV license by speeding up the driving exam.
The government is also enthusiastic. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”