Shapps hits back at BBC’s Marr for blaming Brexit ‘We will not undercut British workers’

Sky News' Trevor Phillips quizzes Grant Shapps on HGV shortage

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps rowed with the BBC’s Andrew Marr over the Government’s decision to issue emergency visas for EU lorry drivers. The visas, which cover 5,000 HGV fuel tanker and food lorry drivers and 5,500 poultry workers, come amid chaotic scenes at petrol stations. At least 200 petrol stations across the country ran out of at least one type of fuel on Saturday night, with a shortage of drivers, and not fuel, to blame.

Mr Marr said: “You acknowledge that part of the story, not all of the story, is exacerbated by Brexit.

“I thought the whole point of Brexit was that at crises like these the Government could hang tough and ensure wages were driven up by not hiring foreign workers.”

Mr Shapps hit back, insisting that the Government is determined to drive up wages for British workers.

He vowed “not to undercut British workers” as he pointed out that the extended visas run out by Christmas.

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Mr Shapps added: ” Brexit gives us the flexibility to set our own rules, in this case, produce visas, because we don’t want to see these queues.

“On the other side, it has given us a lot of freedom to expand the number of tests available at the DVSA.

“Those are changes I couldn’t have made if we were in the EU because those directives are controlled by the European Commission.

“The problem is not a Brexit problem.”


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