Brexit is working! Jeremy Vine and panellist dismantle Remainer attack on HGV shortage

HGV shortages: Jeremy Vine says 'Brexit is working'

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Benjamin Butterworth appeared on the Jeremy Vine on Five Show on Channel 5 and argued many European workers who left the UK because of Brexit would not feel welcome to come back to fill the labour shortage being experienced. The Government has announced it would introduce temporary visas for EU workers to plug the HGV shortages in the UK but Mr Butterworth believes the vitriol shown towards Europeans would not entice them to come back. Host Jeremy Vine dismissed the argument, stating “Brexit is working” because many UK workers were seeing their wages rise as was promised to them.

Speaking on the Jeremy Vine Show, Mr Butterworth said: “Something like 20,000 [workers] went back to EU countries since the referendum.

“Now that’s not just because we made it harder, if not impossible, for them to work here, but it’s because of the way we spoke about these people.

“You know, lots of these drivers that have shortages in the countries they come from not only could they work there, so why should they come here, but we’ve disrespected them for so long.”

Mr Vine then pointed out: “The Brexit argument goes the other way, the Brexit argument is that as a result of having unlimited numbers of HGV drivers available to work from other countries wages hit the floor.

“And people just thought I don’t want to do this job, so you have massive retirements of over 45-year-old truck drivers in this country.

“And then, when Brexit happened, there’s no one to replace them, but the fact is Brexit is working isn’t it for drivers who said that the only way of increasing my wages is to stop the person from another country undercutting me.”

Mr Butterworth said it was not a success if shelves remained empty to which Mr Vine said it would only be a temporary issue.

The UK is experiencing a shortage of fuel and other goods due to the shortage of drivers with the Government urging people not to panic buy.

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News: “I have seen people point to Brexit as the culprit here when in fact they are wrong.

“Not only are there very large and even larger shortages in other EU countries like Poland and Germany, which clearly can’t be because of Brexit.

The RHA say around 20,000 drivers left the UK because of “Brexit reasons” with many more Britons also leaving the sector.

A combination of the pandemic, testing backlogs, and changes in labour have also been blamed for the shortfall.

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The RHA also found the average age of an HGV driver is 55 with less than 1 percent under the age of 25.

Around 2,000 drivers are leaving the industry every week mainly due to retirement.

Only 1,000 recruits are employed over the same time period causing a decrease in labour.

Research from Transport Intelligence found Germany was short between 45,000 and 60,000 HGV drivers last year.

The International Road Transport Union warns this could increase to 185,000 by 2027.

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