EU lorry drivers vow not to help UK get “out of the s**t they created themselves”
"In the short-term, I think that will be a dead end."
European lorry drivers have said they will not help the UK get "out of the s*** they created themselves" amid massive shortages in the country due to Brexit.
The UK has seen major disruption to supply chains recently due to Brexit and a long-term shortage of lorry drivers.
A spokesman for the Dutch FNV union, which represents drivers across Europe, said on Monday that the UK's proposed offer of temporary visas would not be enough to attract drivers back to Britain.
When asked by BBC Radio 4 Today host Mishal Husain: “If the UK can put together a really compelling offer, then perhaps that is a way to attract either people back to the UK or people who have never driven in the UK?”
Edwin Atema replied: “The EU workers we speak to will not go to the UK for a short-term visa to help the UK out of the shit they created themselves.”
He added that European drivers had completely lost trust in the industry pre-Brexit and pre-Covid-19 due to "exploitation”.
“The industry is positively regulated, but that is not worth the paper it is written on. There is no enforcement," he added.
He said that "even the use of toilet facilitation is an issue" as “you go back a century” due to living conditions as an HGV driver across Europe.
“Companies see drivers merely as an extension of the vehicle," Atema continued.
He also said boosting the salaries of drivers will also not solve the problem, saying "in the short-term, I think that will be a dead end."
Fuel shortages across Britain are nearing dangerous levels as the lack of HGV drivers, combined with nationwide panic buying, have led to as much as 90% of the nation's petrol stations running out of fuel.
As a result of the shortage and sheer demand, fuel prices are currently the highest they've been in over three and a half years. The average cost has risen by four pence per litre, with petrol the highest at £1.28.
Furthermore, the UK government is relaxing immigration rules to allow foreign workers into the UK in order to resolve the lorry driver crisis. However, there are currently only plans to offer 5,000 visas to drivers compared to the currently over 10,000 vacancies in the haulage industry.