The government stated on Saturday that it will grant up to 10,500 temporary work visas to truck drivers and poultry workers in order to ease severe labor shortages, marking a U-turn on the country’s post-Brexit immigration policies.
This announcement comes as the minister fights a huge shortage of drivers and other critical staff that has impacted fuel supplies and other companies. The short-term visas will be valid from next month until late December. Long lineups at gas stations have formed in recent days as a result of a shortage of tanker drivers, despite government advice not to panic buy fuel after some garages were forced to close due to a lack of supply.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to expand the crucial worker visa system is a U-turn from his government, which has tightened immigration regulations in the wake of Brexit, claiming that Britain’s reliance on foreign labour must come to an end. In spite of an anticipated shortage of 100,000 heavy-duty vehicle (HGV) drivers and warnings from a wide range of industries that supply would run out, it has opposed the move for several months.