Polish HGV driver: EU hauliers find UK visa proposal 'pretty amusing'

27 September 2021, 14:08 | Updated: 1 December 2021, 13:17

By Seán Hickey

This lorry driver tells James O'Brien that no European HGV operator would take up the UK's offer of a 3-month visa to save Christmas.

Tomasz Oryński is a Polish journalist and truck driver. He spoke to James O'Brien amid government plans to grant 5,000 temporary visas to EU drivers to alleviate the current supply chain crisis.

He told James that it's unlikely that any drivers would take the UK up on its offer, adding that Polish drivers he's been in touch with "find it pretty amusing".

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"Although there is not as bad a shortage of drivers in the EU as there is in Britain, the drivers are in high demand" he added, questioning the logic behind the government's proposal

"Why would they come to Britain, jump through all those hoops just to get the three month visa and then be kicked out after Christmas?"

Read more: 'You couldn't pay me enough': Lorry driver explains why no one wants to drive trucks in UK

James accepted the points of Mr Oryński, adding that HGV operators may be afraid they'd "end up in a massive car park again like they did in the run-up to last Christmas" if they took on the temporary visa.

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"They remember how Britain treated them at Manston Airport last winter" the journalist responded. "It was such an inhumane way to treat people".

Read more: Fuel crisis: Panic buying leaves up to 90% of petrol pumps dry in major British cities

Mr Oryński went on to explain that the chaos in Kent last Christmas was widely reported in Polish media at the time. "They will think twice before coming to Britain again", he insisted.

James wondered whether there may be some EU drivers that would be tempted by the UK's offer, but Mr Orynski didn't think so: "You wouldn't quit your good job just to get [a] three month stint in Britain", he said.

"I can't think of any genuine reason why people would go for it."

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