Ex-Brexit Secretary: 'Industry didn't act early enough to stop tanker driver shortage'

4 October 2021, 11:34

By Fiona Jones

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis tells LBC the haulage industry "didn't pay attention early enough" to prevent tanker driver shortages, as the Army begin to deliver fuel.

From today 200 Army personnel are being deployed to deliver fuel to petrol station forecourts while tanker driver shortages continue.

Last week petrol stations across the country saw scenes of long queues, violence between drivers, and depleted fuel storage units.

Speaking to LBC this morning, chancellor Rishi Sunak said the measure was an "extra precaution" and insisted the situation is "improving".

Despite this, Mr Sunak refused to guarantee the crisis would be over by the end of the week, as London and the South East remains the worst hit.

Nick Ferrari put it to Tory MP David Davis: "We haven't got any tanker drivers, what went wrong?"

Mr Davis said, "What went wrong were a number of things, firstly the industry itself didn't pay attention early enough. I used to run a transport company...they didn't do their own work and train their own drivers.

"The Government didn't do enough to push them either, bluntly, we knew this was a problem. We were hoping it wouldn't be but we thought it might be a problem for Brexit, so what have they been doing since?"

He continued that the situation is "soluble", as the Government have now released an extra 30,000 fuel tanker testing places to give British citizens the opportunity to retrain as an HGV driver.

A high number of MPs and journalists have blamed Brexit for this shortage, with as many as 1.3m million overseas nationals leaving the UK between July 2019 and September 2020.

As well as an estimated shortfall of 100,000 HGV drivers, businesses from meat producers to retail have warned of empty shelves if the shortages are not addressed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeatedly refused to rule out shortages in the wider economy in the run up to Christmas, and acknowledged the country was going through a "period of adjustment" following Brexit, which has cut off the supply of labour from the EU.

He insisted that he was not prepared to resolve the situation by pulling "the big lever marked uncontrolled immigration" to let in more foreign workers.

He said firms should ensure their employees were "decently paid" if they wanted to get more staff.

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

'I don't like Clive!' Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I don't like Clive!': Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts experience with 'micromanaging' boss

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts working with 'micromanaging' boss

Dominic Raab said it would be Sue Gray's "prerogative" to "name and shame" politicians who were issued with fines

'Boris didn't get away with Partygate': Raab says it's up to Sue Gray to name and shame

Kit Malthouse said "we believe the law should be blind"

Minister slaps down police chief who said shoplifters stealing to eat should be spared

Caller hosting Ukrainian refugees admits she regrets it

Caller regrets hosting Ukrainian refugees as it has cost 'hundreds of pounds'

Liz Truss explained plans to alter parts of the Northern Ireland protocol

'We don’t want to scrap NI protocol, just the bits that don’t work': Truss tells LBC

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of senior officials soars by 125%

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of managers soars by 125%

Tony Danker said potentially two million Brits are skipping meals

'Do something to help,' CBI chief tells Sunak as millions of Brits forced to skip meals

Brexit isn't being 'held against' UK in Eurovision, says world's first lecturer on the contest

Brexit isn't being 'held against' UK in Eurovision, says world's first lecturer on contest

Daniel Barnett reacts to 'bizarre' tribunal ruling that calling man bald is sex harassment

Daniel Barnett reacts to 'bizarre' tribunal ruling that calling man bald is sex harassment

Rees-Mogg said Khan is not providing "value" for Londoners

'Hunky dory for him, tough on tax payers': Mogg hits out at Khan's US trip

Nick Ferrari reflects on his trip on the PM's plane

LBC Views: Boris got a warm welcome in Finland, but would it be the same in Finchley?

Lisa Nandy: Tory MP's 'Brits can't cook' comment shows govt's 'living on another planet'

Lisa Nandy: Tory MP's 'Brits can't cook' comment shows govt's 'living on another planet'

This was the Eurovision question from Nick Ferrari that stumped Boris Johnson

This was the Eurovision question from Nick Ferrari that stumped Boris Johnson

Exclusive
Boris Johnson has refused to say what would happen if Sir Keir Starmer quit in an interview with LBC's Nick Ferrari

PM refuses four times to answer whether he'd quit if Keir resigns

The Minister for Prisons has said she will do "everything in her power" to stop serial killer Levi Bellfield from marrying a prison pen pal

Prison Minister says 'evil monster' Levi Bellfield should be stopped from marrying in jail