Prime minister Boris Johnson is set to unveil a temporary visa scheme to allow overseas workers into the UK in a bid to ease the country’s shortages in the lead up to Christmas.
Following months of pressure from businesses, with supermarkets and fuel giants alike reporting issues, the new programme will cover up to 10,000 foreign workers, the Financial Times reported.
The package is expected to “last three to six months, to see us through Christmas”, one Whitehall official reportedly said.
MPs met yesterday to sign off on issuing temporary visas to thousands of foreign truck drivers and meat processing workers. Downing Street is reportedly looking to make a formal announcement as early as this afternoon.
Downing Street said on Friday night: “We have ample fuel stocks in this country, and the public should be reassured that there are no shortages. But, like countries around the world, we are suffering from a temporary Covid-related shortage of drivers needed to move supplies around the country.
“We’re looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems, but any measures we introduce will be very strictly time-limited.
“We are moving to a high-wage, high-skilled economy and businesses will need to adapt, with more investment in recruitment and training to provide long-term resilience.”
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