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24th Sep 2021

The UK government has ‘just 10 days to save Christmas’

Kieran Galpin


Christmas could once again be cancelled

The Tory government has just 10 days to rectify the lorry driver shortage before creating havoc across the Christmas season.

A trade group representing Britain’s retail industry has warned that Christmas this year could be dramatically different without the government addressing the HGV driver shortage. Ministers are said to be meeting this afternoon to address the crisis, reports Metro.

The UK has become increasingly aware of empty shelves as of late but now there have been warnings that this could get significantly worse in the lead up to Christmas.

“HGV drivers are the glue which hold our supply chains together,” said Andrew Opie, the director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium.

“Without them, we are unable to move goods from farms to warehouses to shops.

“Unless new drivers are found in the next ten days, it is inevitable that we will see significant disruption in the run-up to Christmas.”

Despite people suggesting that Brexit is at fault for supply chain shortages, transport secretary Grant Shapps says this is not the case.

“Brexit has actually provided part of the solution,” he said on Friday (September 24), pointing to the ways in which leaving the European Union has allowed him to change the law and alter the way UK driving tests are taken. He went on to suggest that the army could be drafted in to assist with moving products.

This comes amid reports across the UK of shortages in all sorts of products – from Coca Cola and vegetables, to ‘pigs in blankets and a lack of service workers.

Most recently, farmers in Scotland had to throw away millions of cauliflower and broccoli heads due to a shortage in labourers and lorry drivers.

Managing director of East of Scotland Growers, Andrew Faichney, told the Independent that they were only working with 80 per cent of the required workforce.

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