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The driver shortage crisis could be made worse by new border changes

Posted on Wednesday, November 24th by

Britain's new border rules recently implemented, which does not accept European Union ID cards as proof of identity, could affect the current situation especially for freight entering the United Kingdom.

Under new immigration rules, as part of post-Brexit measures to end freedom of movement, EU citizens must have a passport to enter the United Kingdom.

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) said that, despite working closely with the British government to inform hauliers, some drivers were likely to be caught out.

"Aside from not seeing the real benefits of adding this layer of bureaucracy and potentially affecting already difficult border freight flows post Brexit, we are also concerned that passports are generally more expensive than ID cards," said Raluca Marian, IRU EU Advocacy Director.

"UK authorities need to implement the change from Friday respecting professional drivers, without unnecessary bureaucracy or causing border or supply chain disruptions that would compound the serious supply chain issues already being seen in the UK due to driver shortages."

The government department that administers immigration policy declared that ID cards are some of the "most insecure and abused documents", and the haulage industry has had almost a year keep up with the changes.

However, this comes as Britain is already struggling with a massive shortage of lorry drivers, which has caused severe supply chain problems, one of the most serious being the fuel stations running empty after people started to panic-buying. 

Great Britain left the EU at the beginning of 2021, implementing a full customs border. However, the country hasn’t implemented import checks on goods entering Britain, to offer businesses time to adjust amid concern they would lead to delays.

Earlier in October, the government declared that the checks would be postponed until next year, due to the COVID pandemic.

Source: Reuters

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