Is government in ‘secret’ talks to find non-UK HGV drivers?

The Department for Transport is currently engaged in “secret” talks about temporary visas for non-UK HGV drivers.

Home delivery specialist Parcel Hero claims that the government department is discussing non-UK HGV drivers, including EU nationals, being called back to the UK on temporary visas.

The delivery service claims that government is in discussions with logistics professionals on tackling the crisis and “has asked the industry for evidence to demonstrate the value of a temporary visa scheme”, although the Home Office has repeatedly rejected the idea.

“It’s possible the government could be on the brink of a massive Brexit U-turn as the shortage of skilled drivers threatens empty shelves in stores and delayed home deliveries,” said David Jinks, Parcel Hero’s head of consumer research.

The report comes in the wake of the government’s temporary relaxation of driver working hours earlier in the week.

The Parcel Hero spokesman went on to say that the government has been left with “two deeply unattractive options” to resolve the driver shortage crisis – either to call in the British Army to support the supply chain or invite EU-based drivers who left the UK after Brexit to return with temporary visas, alongside other non-UK drivers.

Some supply chain and driver bodies are calling for a seasonal visa scheme for qualified HGV drivers to support recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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