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InvestmentsBritain expected to ease visa rules as truck driver shortage bites By...

Britain expected to ease visa rules as truck driver shortage bites By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Lorries are seen at an HGV parking, at Cobham companies on the M25 motorway, Cobham, Britain, August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is expected to announce plans to problem momentary visas to truck drivers to alleviate an acute labour shortage that has led to gas rationing at some filling stations and warnings from retailers (https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/britain-resolve-trucker-shortage-swiftly-minister-says-2021-09-24) of great disruption within the run-up to Christmas.

As queues began forming outdoors filling stations early on Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s workplace stated it was momentary measures to deal with the shortage of heavy items car (HGV) drivers.

Newspapers reported that the federal government would enable up to 5,000 international drivers into Britain on short-term visas, a measure that logistics corporations and retailers have demanded for months however which the federal government had beforehand dominated out.

The UK’s Road Haulage Association (RHA) says Britain wants 100,000 extra drivers whether it is to meet demand. The driver shortage has been triggered partly by Brexit and COVID-19, and the lack of a few 12 months of driver coaching and testing.

“We’re looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems, but any measures we introduce will be very strictly time limited,” a spokeswoman for Johnson’s Downing Street workplace stated in an announcement.

Downing Street declined to give additional particulars.

Ministers have cautioned in opposition to panic shopping for, and oil corporations say there is no such thing as a shortage of provides, merely issues delivering the gas to the fuel stations.

However, lengthy strains of automobiles have begun gathering at petrol stations to replenish after BP (NYSE:) stated it had to shut a few of its retailers due to the driver shortages.

Some Shell (LON:) stations have additionally reported pumps operating dry whereas ExxonMobil (NYSE:)’s Esso has additionally stated a small variety of its 200 Tesco (OTC:) Alliance retail websites had additionally been impacted ultimately.

EG Group, which runs a whole bunch of forecourts throughout Britain, stated on Friday it might impose a purchase order restrict of 30 kilos ($41) per buyer for gas due to the “unprecedented customer demand”.

“We have ample fuel stocks in this country and the public should be reassured there are no shortages,” the Downing Street spokeswoman stated.

“But like countries around the world we are suffering from a temporary COVID-related shortage of drivers needed to move supplies around the country.”

The gas problem comes as Britain, the world’s fifth-largest financial system, additionally grapples with a spike in European costs inflicting hovering vitality costs and a possible meals provide crunch.

Other international locations such as the United States and Germany are additionally coping with truck driver shortages.

Britain says the long-term resolution is for extra British drivers to be employed, with the RHA saying higher pay and circumstances are wanted to entice folks into the business.

But the retail business has warned that until the federal government acts to deal with the shortage within the subsequent 10 days, then important disruption is inevitable within the run-up to Christmas.

($1 = 0.7311 kilos)

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