The government’s visa scheme to temporarily bring in lorry drivers from abroad will not make a difference to UK’s supply chain shortages, the Road Haulage Association has told MPs.
According to Duncan Buchanan, RHA policy director, it is ‘too late’ to try to bring in drivers from abroad in the runup to Christmas and “things are not visibly getting better”.
And he thinks the UK government’s approach is designed to fail. He said: “It’s too short, people aren’t sitting around doing nothing while waiting for visas to come to a different country, work for three months, disrupt their lives, get stuck in the UK over Christmas.
“If you were designing a visa system to fail, you would design something like this.
He added: “I would have probably made it for a year, as a temporary one, but I think we’ve also got a problem with the shortage occupation list being based on snobbery.
“The shortage occupation list should be based on what the economy needs, not random academic levels.”
Buchanan thinks Britain needs migrants from all sorts of professions to come to Britain and receive good quality training – from lorry drivers to plumbers and waste refuse collectors.
EU lorry drivers react – ‘They think drivers are waiting at the border to be employed in the UK’
Commenting in a group called ‘Koleka Problem’, George Mihulecea from Bucharest, Romania, said “most of the drivers left because of work condition reasons” and that it is not “worth it anymore” to come to the UK.
He added: “I wish them luck. They think drivers are waiting at the border to be employed in UK.
“Drivers shortage is just the beginning, the warehouse operators will be the next to leave.”
Vytautas Bielskis from Breda in the Netherlands said there is “no chance” he would come work under the post-Brexit visa rules proposed by the UK government.
Martyr Hoetmer from Amsterdam suggested there is no point moving to the UK when there is “plenty of work in the Netherlands”.
‘Help with Johnson’s Brexit and then be told to get out again’
Showing a middle finger emoji at the temporary Tory proposals, Marius Blekaitis said: “Boris is hoping that 5,000 drivers will work overtime.”
Blekaitis said this would mean helping the UK with Boris Johnson’s “‘best deal ever’ shit” and then be told to get out of Britain “again”.
Last week, Edwin Atema, from EU lorry drivers union FNV, said European hauliers are laughing at UK’s offer to come help the UK ahead of Christmas on temporary visas.
“The drivers we speak to are simply laughing,” Atema told BBC News, adding: “Do they really think that we will come to the UK to solve a broken industry?”
Atema also said that proposals from the UK government to allow foreign lorry drivers to make more deliveries in the UK to help fix supply chain problems will “legalise exploitation”.