Tories Admit UK Government Has Approved Just 20 of 100,000 HGV Drivers

Independence is the only way to protect Scotland for Brexit damage.

The SNP has said independence is “the only way to keep Scotland safe from the long-term damage of Brexit” – as Tory ministers admit the UK government has approved just 20 temporary visas to meet the UK shortage of around 100,000 HGV drivers.

Responding to the staggering admission from Oliver Dowden on LBC, Gavin Newlands MP said the cost of Brexit is soaring and the Tory government is failing to tackle the severe staffing shortages across the economy and public services caused by Boris Johnson’s disastrous hard Brexit deal.

The SNP Transport spokesperson said people in Scotland are being forced to pay an increasingly high price for Brexit despite voting to remain in the EU – and the only way to protect Scotland’s economic interests and place in Europe is to become an independent country.

Commenting, SNP Transport spokesperson Gavin Newlands MP (pictured) said:

“This is a staggering admission of failure by the Tory government.

“Instead of making excuses, Tory ministers must urgently get a grip of the severe staffing shortages and soaring costs caused by Boris Johnson’s disastrous hard Brexit.

“Scotland didn’t vote for Brexit but we are being forced to pay an increasingly high price.

“Brexit has already cost Scotland billions of pounds, and the combination of staffing shortages, barriers to trade and falling exports will cost us billions more over the coming years – leaving Scottish families and businesses much worse off compared to EU membership.

“In the immediate term, the UK government must significantly expand its temporary visa scheme to help fill the 100,000 HGV driver shortage – increasing the number of visas available and the length to at least 12 months from the current three-month period.

“However, no amount of papering over the cracks can fully mitigate the damage of Brexit.

“The only way to keep Scotland safe from the long-term damage of Brexit is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to regain Scotland’s place in Europe and protect our economic interests.”