London, Sep 26 (EFE).- The United Kingdom announced Sunday it will grant 10,500 temporary UK visas for truck drivers and poultry workers following a fuel and food crisis in the country due to a shortage of truck drivers post-Brexit.
The government said 5,000 of those visas would be for fuel tanker and food delivery truck drivers, who would be eligible to work in the UK until Christmas eve.
The remaining 5,500 visas would be for poultry workers.
The move came after farmers and supermarkets warned of a national shortage on supermarket shelves, which could lead to panic buying ahead of the Christmas season, and a shortage of fuel at gas stations that forced several to temporarily close.
The food and fuel crisis across the country is due to a shortage of truck drivers, worsened by Covid and Brexit.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said Sunday he did not want to “undercut” British workers by granting temporary visas to EU nationals, but that it was the only solution to improve the current situation.
Shapps insisted there was “plenty of fuel” in the country but that people were all going to fill up their tanks on the same day after road haulage groups sparked panic.
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).
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truck drivers lost their jobs since Brexit came into force at the start of the year and some 40,000 new licenses were withdrawn due to the pandemic, according to RHA.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