Iain Dale erupted at MP Simon Hart over the HGV shortage crisis, demanding the “truth” from ministers about the real cause of this issue. Simon Hart repeatedly insisted Brexit played a minor role in the current shortage which prompted the LBC presenter to hit out at the haulage industry for failing to prepare with the retirement of drivers and with recruitment. The shortage of HGV lorry drivers have caused severe disruption and sparked fears of fuel shortages among drivers.
Iain Dale then asked: “Just finally, why won’t a Cabinet minister actually say the truth?
“The truth is that a lot of these problems are caused by the failure of the road haulage industry to plan for this not just years, but decades.
“They’ve known that they’ve had an aging demographic, they’ve known that this is going to happen just as in other countries it’s happened
“Why haven’t they planned for it? Why haven’t they increased wages to attract more people, more younger people into the sector?”
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The LBC broadcaster added: “Can you bring yourself to admit that a proportion, however small, a proportion of the problem is due to Brexit?”
The Conservative MP said: “No as far as HGTV is concerned, no.
“Because I think that is wrong.
“However, what I would say if it reassures you a little bit, is that of course there have been, as were predicted some consequences of Brexit.”
He continued: “For example some of the Import-Export infrastructure issues in Wales.
“These have had their challenges as a result of Brexit
“Not only did we know that would be the case, but I think people voted in the certain knowledge that this was going to be quite a significant transition period, compounded by COVID, which people didn’t know at the time.
“And so I don’t think people knew in any sense.”
The military continues to work to relieve fuel shortages at petrol stations.
The deployment of military personnel has been concentrated in London and the South East – the two regions most affected by the crisis.
Customers have been panic-buying fuel over the past two weeks, despite that oil refineries across the country have plenty of it.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said it was “tackling this issue through increasing testing”.