Lord Adonis weighs in on petrol shortages
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Lord Adonis said the combination of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic was the root cause of the shortages the HGV industry is facing, and all subsequent disruptions to the British supply chain. The Labour peer insisted the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union played a major role in pushing drivers from the continent not to return to Britain once lockdown rules were lifted. Speaking to LBC, he said: “The big change, as the Road Haulage Association has highlighted, has been Brexit.
“Exacerbated, of course, by the Covid crisis which meant that many drivers returned [home].
“You need to understand the interaction between the two. It’s undoubtedly true that a lot of drivers left the country because of Covid, that’s absolutely right because a lot of people went back to their homelands, and we had a huge number of EU drivers.
“But they haven’t returned, this is the point. And they haven’t returned because the Brexit red tape makes it hard to, it means all the time they have to spend to get through the red tape at the border makes it less economic to come.
“But also, their employment status is in jeopardy and it means they no longer have a right to come back into the country in the way they did before when there was a single market.”
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However, Lord Adonis’ assessment was attacked by listeners who took to social media to dismantle his argument about Brexit causing the shortages the UK is experiencing.
Matt Rawly wrote on Twitter: “Why does everyone keep forgetting a shortage of bus drivers and the fact that no testing took place due to DVLA not working in lockdown this is also a factor as we lost 3 months while I bet they all got full pay for staying at home.”
UK Business Forums founder Richard Osborne said: “Sorry, no, #brexit just exposed a problem that was already building.
“Brexit isn’t the cause, #HGV drivers have always underappreciated, undervalued and their working conditions are appalling. #HGVDriverShortage.”
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Paul James Crook wrote on Twitter: “Place into context and stop seeking to score political points when they have no real answers beyond saying ‘We need change’ –
“What type of change? Shuffling the titles and personalities does not address systemic problems now facing us regarding inequality and inequity.”
User @markpalexander said: “When are we going to stop Brexit bashing the UK?”
User Christie W added: “Does Lord Adonis remember the 2000 fuel shortages. Labour government and in the EU.”
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Andrew Green wrote: “Yes lord remoan, we know it’s because of Brexit, HGV pay rates have doubled in some cases, Asos are advertising nearly every page of the Barnsley Chronicle- much better pay now on offer – we know why we voted leave.”
And Peter Wilkinson added: “Lord Adonis ignores the fact that the govt he was part of did absolutely bugger all to fix the underlying issues regarding HGV drivers & that we were already short in 2010.
“But then Adonis is an unprincipled antidemocratic EU shill.”
Concerns about petrol shortages have pushed hundreds of Britons to rush to gas stations to fill up their tanks despite the Government insisting delays may happen but there is no shortage of petrol stocks.
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