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Aberdeenshire MP challenges UK transport secretary on HGV driver shortage

By Kirsty Brown

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Gordon MP Richard Thomson has challenged the UK Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, on the continuing shortage of HGV drivers and its effect on the economy.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Richard Thomson MP said: “The Government may have taken decisive action in their own eyes, but it does not seem to be having the desired effect, because the temporary visas issued by the Government in the latter part of this year have failed to attract even 10 percent of the open visa spaces.

“Given that the rest of Europe also has an HGV driver shortage, will the Secretary of State accept that the UK Government need to make our visa package for HGV drivers more attractive to EU drivers in order to help quell the domestic driver shortage?”

Richard Thomson.
Richard Thomson.

Commenting after the exchange, Mr Thomson said: “The Transport Secretary failed once again to recognise the urgency of the situation.

"Everyone agrees that temporary solutions are required in the short term but unless the UK Government’s ‘offer’ to those it seeks to attract to come and work here is attractive, and not merely some smiley-faced version of the Home Office’s hostile environment for immigrants which it likes to push, then we are going to struggle with supply chains, logistics and keeping the shelves stocked.

“These serious issues require a serious government to take action to tackle them. Unfortunately, events of the past few weeks have underlined that serious government is something we certainly don’t get from Westminster.”

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