The British government announced on Friday the relaxation of rules on the number of deliveries foreign truck drivers are allowed to make in the UK. This would alleviate shortages and supply problems in the run-up to the Christmas season.
Currently, drivers from the European Union (EU) can only make two operations within seven days of arriving in the UK. Under the new rules, which the government hopes to introduce before Christmas, they will be able to make an unlimited number of trips in a two-week period. “This is the equivalent of adding thousands of truck drivers to our roads,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News on Friday. He promised that the measures would come “by the end of the year”.
As a result of the Corona pandemic and Brexit, the UK is facing a shortage of nearly 100,000 truck drivers. This has caused serious supply problems for the country’s supermarkets for weeks, as well as for gas stations that are running out of fuel. In addition, the shortage of truck drivers is causing a significant backlog in British ports, which means container ships must be diverted to European ports or wait for days at sea. The British Ports Association (BPA) recently announced that it will take another six to nine months to clear this backlog.
The UK is also struggling with a Butchers shortage, leading to fears of mass slaughter because there is not enough capacity to convert animals to meat or keep them on farms. To address this issue, the government recently announced that it will issue 800 temporary visas to foreign butchers.
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