© 2020 – 2021 AEA3 WEB
Image default

Treasury minister branded ‘ridiculous’ after claiming HGV driver shortage nothing to do with Brexit – live

Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, tells BBC: ‘The idea that this is somehow just a British problem is fundamentally wrong’

  • 100,000 renters in England ‘risk eviction’ when universal credit is cut
  • Ditching furlough will add to UK economic woes, warn unions and firms
  • Supply chain crisis updates – business live
  • Global coronavirus updates – live

Simon Clarke, the new chief secretary to the Treasury, was giving interviews on behalf of the government this morning and he insisted that Brexit had nothing to do with the shortage of HGV drivers in the UK that has contributed to petrol stations running out of exchange. He was speaking to Justin Webb on the Today programme, and here is the key exchange.

SC: The difficulties we are facing are not unique to this country. The idea that this is somehow just a British problem is fundamentally wrong. There’s a shortage of 400,000 HGV drivers across Europe.

We share that problem. It’s driven in part by workforce demographics, it’s worsened by Covid restrictions.

You cannot* simultaneously argue that Brexit has restricted firms’access to cheap EU labour and will therefore lead to better pay in certain sectors AND current labour shortages have nothing to do with restricting access to EU labour

* Actually you can, but you sound ridiculous

We want a high-wage, high-skills economy with controlled immigration; what they want is low wages, low skills, and uncontrolled immigration. That is what [Labour] stand for.

After a long period of stagnation in wages for those in the road haulage industry, we are also seeing a long-overdue increase in wages. That is part of the same phenomenon that this government are introducing and the Labour party is opposing.

Q: Will you be going to the new Bond movie this weekend?

Starmer says, having been away in Brighton, he will focus this weekend on being a dad.

Continue reading…

Related posts

Facebook faces US investigation for ‘systemic’ racial bias in hiring


UK weather: snow and ice to bring 2020 to wintry end for many


Germany calls on UK to show more realism in Brexit negotiations


Your ads here. Click here