Maajid Nawaz: It's wrong for Remainers to say 'I told you so' about lorry driver shortage

25 September 2021, 18:56

By Tim Dodd

Maajid Nawaz hit out at Remainers who are saying "I told you so" about the UK's shortage of lorry drivers, warning it was not the "time to start playing the blame game or pointing fingers".

It comes as a £30 cap was introduced at hundreds of gridlocked petrol stations, with desperate motorists pictured filling jerry cans with fuel as fears continue over the UK's lorry driver shortage.

Maajid said: "I do not think that this is the time to start playing the blame game, and for people to start pointing fingers at those who they think are their lessers for having voted in a way that they didn't want them to vote, and now see this as an opportunity to say 'I told you so'.

"Because frankly they would be wrong.

"There is a global labour shortage, that is a fact. And as I have just read out for you, there is specifically a global truck driver shortage."

Read more: Govt looking at temporary visas for lorry drivers as panic-buyers gridlock petrol stations

Read more: HGV shortage: Govt 'created this crisis' through inaction, Angela Rayner says

He continued: "Of course Brexit has a role to play, because free movement has been suspended... and the added bureaucracy that has been required to get into the country.

"So it's not right to deny that Brexit plays a role, but it's also not right to pretend that it is the only cause... it's not as simple as that.

"There's also IR35 tax changes that play a role in the shortage of lorry drivers, and changes to licenses, poor working conditions that have been building up for about 15 years due to the cheapness of the labour force and people not wanting as a result to do that job.

"Low wages not attracting workers, and importantly furlough. Furlough still has 600,000... Some of them could be trained if they so required."

Read more: Soldiers on standby: Shapps won't rule out using army to drive lorries in shortage crisis

Read more: Hundreds of thousands of people not using their HGV licenses, says Minister

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