UK government mulls easing visa limits to end shortages crisis

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Boris Johnson is preparing to rip up visa limits on HGV drivers in order to solve the current supply shortages in the UK.


A meeting of ministers today is expected to consider a range of options including issuing temporary visas to foreign lorry drivers and food processing workers.


The prime minister is said to be fed up with the bad headlines according to the FT and wants a solution to the problem.


Headlines today have again been about shortages with motorists queuing at petrol stations to fill up after BP shut several of its stations yesterday due to a lack of tanker delivery drivers.


A statement from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urging people not to panic-buy only made the situation worse, said the reports.


Shapps said refineries had plenty of fuel at present and that if needed soldiers would drive delivery vehicles to ease the supply crisis, though it was not clear if this was one of the options under discussion by ministers.


The AA also said that most of the UK’s petrol stations were operating normally.


“There is no shortage of fuel and thousands of forecourts are operating normally with just a few suffering temporary supply chain problems,” said AA president Edmund King.


“Fridays and the weekend always tend to be busier on forecourts, as drivers either combine filling up with shopping runs, prepare for weekend trips or refuel for the start of the new working week.”


The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has been urging the government to relax visa restrictions for months and has repeatedly said the UK currently is short of about 90,000 HGV drivers.

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