Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A truck drives to the entrance of the port of Dover, after the end of the Brexit transition period, in Dover, Great Britain, on January 15, 2021. REUTERS / John Sibley // Photo of the file

By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government has rejected calls from retail and logistics companies to temporarily ease post-Brexit immigration rules, which they say contribute to the shortage of truck drivers and the severe disruption of the supply chain. supply.

Fast food chains McDonald’s (NYSE :), KFC and Nando’s, as well as the bakery chain Greggs, have been in trouble this week as suppliers have had trouble delivering them.

Logistics UK said Britain currently had a shortage of 90,000 truck drivers, and on 22 August it and the British Retail Consortium asked the government to grant temporary visas to Union truck drivers. European.

As of 1 January, most EU citizens planning to work in Britain need visas that are normally only available for higher-paying jobs than those in the logistics and hospitality sector.

The British business ministry said on Saturday that it did not expect these visa rules to change.

“We want employers to make long-term investments in UK domestic labor rather than relying on foreign labor,” a government spokesman said.

The Times reported earlier Saturday that the government was considering advancing a revision of visa rules to address the shortage.

Alex Veitch, CEO of Logistics UK’s public policy, said he was disappointed by the government’s decision, which could take until early next year to work through an accumulation of driving tests accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The industry needs engines now,” he said. “Logistics UK is frustrated with the government’s decision to reject the logistics industry’s application for temporary visas for drivers of EU heavy vehicles as a short-term solution as they are recruited, trained and put on hold. test new national drivers “.

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