Lord Adonis: 'Brexit red tape' responsible for HGV crisis

25 September 2021, 11:16 | Updated: 25 September 2021, 11:21

By Seán Hickey

The former Transport Secretary tells LBC that the current shortage of lorry drivers is directly linked to leaving the EU.

"Andrew, you and I know that in 2016 there weren't shortages in the supermarkets, there wasn't fuel rationing" Lord Andrew Adonis told Andrew Castle.

The former Transport Secretary was making the case that Brexit is largely responsible for current HGV driver shortages in the UK.

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"Today there are shortages in the supermarkets, there is fuel rationing, the people in charge of these organisations say the reason is they can't get hold of enough HGV drivers, and the big new thing that caused that is Brexit".

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Andrew accepted the argument "to a degree", noting that conditions and pay are bad for drivers and this should also be factored in. He added that a steady increase of cars on the road could also be a factor.

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"The big change which the Road Haulage Association has highlighted is Brexit, exacerbated of course by the Covid crisis" Lord Adonis maintained.

He pointed out that since the UK has reopened, European drivers "haven't returned, the Brexit red tape has made it hard."

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"Many people don't have the right to come back into the country as they did before when there was a single market."

Lord Adonis concluded by arguing that it has been a "point of principle" to limit foreign workers coming in and out of the country.

"The idea that you dissuade and in some cases ban European drivers from coming into the country...is obviously crazy".