UK government considers deploying army, relaxing visas to refuel gas stations
London, Sep 24 (EFE).- The British government said Friday it did not rule out bringing in the army or relaxing visas for truck drivers from the EU in an attempt to quell the panic over shortages at gas stations.
Drivers rushed to fill up their tanks causing long queues of cars at stations across the United Kingdom after BP announced Thursday it was temporarily closing down some service stations due to a lack of gas and diesel supply caused by a shortage of truck drivers post-Brexit.
Since Brexit, there is a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers, a scenario that has hit supply chains in most of the country’s industrial sectors, according to the British Road Haulage Association (RHA).
The post-Brexit European labor shortage in the UK, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, has led to a crisis in the British labor market, which at the end of August accounted for over one million unfilled jobs.
British transport minister Grant Shapps said soldiers from the army could be deployed to help with vetting and training new drivers and said the government is considering granting temporary visas to EU nationals.
Despite resistance from the Conservatives, who undermine the impact of Brexit on the drivers shortage, temporary visas have already been granted in the agricultural sector.
Some 20,000 European truck drivers lost their jobs since Brexit came into force at the start of the year and some 40,000 new licenses were withdrawn due to the pandemic, according to RHA. EFE