German freight industry says British visas won't draw truckers

Truck drivers wanted as UK supply chains buckle
An instructor drives a lorry in Croydon, Britain, August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

BERLIN, Sept 28 (Reuters) - A plan by the British government to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers in the run-up to Christmas will not attract back drivers who left after Brexit, the German freight industry said on Tuesday.

"The labour market on the European continent has gratefully accepted these workers - they are now lost to re-employment in the United Kingdom," Frank Huster, chief executive of the German Freight Forwarding and Logistics Association, told Reuters.

A post-Brexit shortage of truck drivers, exacerbated by a halt to truck-driving-licence testing during COVID lockdowns and people leaving the haulage industry, has sown chaos through supply chains.

Many petrol stations have run dry in Britain over the past few days amid panic-buying of fuel and suppliers have warned that other shortages and price rises are looming in the run up to Christmas. read more

The government announced a plan on Sunday to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers, but Huster said that would not help.

"The new UK visa regulations - especially the temporary ones - will not change this," Huster said.

Reporting by Rene Wagner; writing by Emma Thomasson; editing by Philippa Fletcher

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