British authorities will allow more than 10,000 foreign workers to work temporarily in Britain as truck drivers and in the food sector, as ministers look to save the Christmas season from a shortage of supplies.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps said the changes, which will see the provision of visas from next month, “will ensure that preparations remain on track” for the festive season, according to the British news agency (BA Media).
Retailers have warned the government that it has only 10 days to save Christmas from a “huge disruption” due to a shortage of some 90,000 drivers in the freight sector.
The reactions of industry leaders and opposition politicians regarding the temporary visa scheme aimed at filling the shortage of truck drivers varied between frustration and relief.
Sources in “Downing Street” said, in light of an expected announcement on visas tomorrow, that the scheme, which is reported to be temporarily lifting visa restrictions for foreign drivers, would be a “short-term solution” to ease the pressure on shipments deliveries in the lead-up to Christmas, according to The British News Agency, PA Media, reported on Saturday.
This comes amid scenes of long queues at gas stations, after the shortage of drivers for large cargo trucks forced some fuel merchants to close fuel stations and stop sales of fuel rations.
The fuel problems come in the wake of growing concern about the impact of a shortage of truck drivers on supermarket supplies, amid fears that the Christmas shopping season will be disrupted if no action is taken.
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