RHA lashes out at proposed EU working migration laws

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has lashed out at the government’s proposed points-based immigration system.

Last week the Home Office announced that from 1 January 2021, EU migrants to the UK will no longer have freedom of movement. They will instead be subjected to tests before they can work in the UK. They must have an appropriate job offer, English language skills, and a salary threshold of £25,600.

The RHA said it was extremely concerned that the ability to drive a HGV was not considered to be a skill. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett.

“Profit margins are so low, between 1% and 2%, that employers simply cannot afford to train new drivers. They need to employ those that are already qualified but with a 60,000 shortfall this is impossible.

“It’s a triple whammy,” said Burnett. “We’re not getting the money to train new drivers, the driver shortage isn’t recognised and now we’re being told that operators can’t employ immigrants to fill staff rotas.

“Many UK operators are totally reliant on European drivers. Putting a stop to the immigrant workforce will have a massive impact on the supply chain, and the next-day deliveries we have all come to expect will be a thing of the past.

“95% of all goods in the UK have made the journey to their ultimate destination on the back of a truck and the UK economy is totally reliant on an efficient supply chain network. It cannot be allowed to grind to a halt as a result of government short-sightedness.”