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Boris Johnson declared that 127 European drivers signed-up to the special-visa project, not 27

Posted on Thursday, November 18th by

Boris Johnson declared 127 drivers signed up to work in the UK – which is still a long way off 300 Downing Street requested.

The Prime Minister declared for BBC Breakfast that 127 EU drivers have agreed to work in the UK as part of the new scheme, not 27, as previously reported.

The Times stated that only 27 EU drivers have applied for the new temporary visa scheme Downing Street launched last month, even though the government was willing to recruit 300 drivers.

However, when Boris Johnson was asked about the number of drivers willing to work in the UK by BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, the Prime Minister declared there were actually 127 drivers.

Still, Walker pointed out: “Well if it’s 127, whatever it is, you wanted 300 and you wanted 4,700 by later this month.”The prime minister confusingly then said, “you’re completely right – it’s 127”.

He continued: “It’s a fascinating illustration of the problem of the shortage.

“So, what we said to the road haulage industry was ‘Fine, give us the names of the drivers you want us to bring in and we will sort out the visas, we’ve got another 5,000 visas’.

“They only produced 127 names so far, and what that shows is the global shortage. There is a particular problem in the UK."

“Now road haulage should be a great job – if you invested in the truck stops if you invested in the cabs, and in pay and conditions, it should be something that people want to do.”

Walker added: “People watching this morning will say this is related to Brexit.”

Johnson disagreed with the statement and pointed out that the drivers shortage crisis is a global issue, not only an European one.  

The prime minister continued: “The shortage is global. What you can’t do is go back to the old failed model, where the main line is low-skill low-wage labour.”

Also, the Prime Minister’s critics online are not convinced that there were 127 EU drivers looking to come to the UK.According to Fortune journalist, David Meyer, the business department confirmed “there have been 27 applications for those HGV driver visas” not 127.

People on Twitter joked that 27 in total means there has been just one driver from each EU country accepting the temporary visa.

Source: Huffpost

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