European truck drivers ‘won’t move to the UK for just three months’

Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers have said they do not believe European drivers will come to the UK for three months. One driver said that it would be too expensive and drivers won’t have enough time to learn the roads.

‘It will create a lot of problems or accidents’

Imran Mustafa moved to Barcelona from Pakistan in 2013. He’s been a haulage driver for three years and said he does want to move to the UK to work. But the 12-week visa was not enough time to uproot his life.

He told the PA news agency:

Read on...

It’s a temporary visa and it’s for a very small time period.

These days, people don’t have the money to travel. No-one wants to travel for just three months.

I could move as I live on my own but other people, French people, German people, Spanish people, they’re already earning a lot of money, so why would they move to the UK for three months only on a temporary visa?

I would move but not for three months. It’s not enough time as we don’t know the roads, the maps or how it all works. I think it will create a lot of problems or accidents.

Imran Mustafa
Imran Mustafa says he believes drivers will not move to the UK for just 12 weeks (PA)

The 32-year-old added that while the pay was not good in Spain, and drivers work long days, there is also a shortage and so there’s lots of work available. He said:

In the UK there is far better income and there isn’t a language barrier as there are in places like Spain

But I think no-one will move for three months. Even from Romania, even from Poland.

You have to do a lot of tests, fill in a lot of forms and it’s expensive. Most people are living hand to mouth these days.

“People who do their jobs well will not come”

Mehmet Ozalp is a 28-year-old driver from Mersin in Turkey who has recently moved to Germany. He said he does not believe drivers will come to the UK for the short timespan.

He told PA:

This is a temporary solution. Serious work is required to solve such a big problem for both sides. I would only move for at least six months and above. If you’re moving thousands of kilometres, it shouldn’t be just for three months.

People who do their jobs well will not come. We have to think, ‘What will this contribute to my life?’

The government has announced a temporary visa scheme that will see 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers brought in on three-month contracts. This is in a haphazard attempt to keep supermarket shelves stocked with turkeys and tackle fuel delivery difficulties which British drivers have faced in recent days.

However, the Road Haulage Association says the UK needs around 100,000 drivers. The shortage is a result of workers leaving the industry, Brexit and coronavirus (Covid-19). The pandemic put a stop to driver training and testing for about a year.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us