Taoiseach Micheál Martin has assured that Ireland will not experience the same truck driver shortage that the UK is currently experiencing.
Martin stated that preparations made by the government ahead of Brexit were successful and that the UK failed to make similar plans.
This comes amid warnings from hauliers that Ireland is facing a shortage of between 3,000 and 4,000 truck drivers to which Martin said, “We’re steady as she goes.”
Martin told reporters at Rosslare Europort that “Suffice to say from my briefings over in the port and here that the preparations that Ireland put in, in advance of Brexit have worked.”
He added that he wasn’t certain if the same preparations were made in the UK.
Martin attributed the UK’s stance on migration as a factor to some of the issues that it’s experiencing at the moment, stating that to “create obstacles and barriers to people coming from Europe to work in the UK is a factor across the board. We don’t have that here.”
Saying that Ireland would take nothing for granted, Martin highlighted the need for more training courses and programmes for HGV drivers and the haulage industry.
Martin also urged for flexibility in terms of people coming into Ireland who want to work in this sector.
Responding to a question that asked if Ireland could avoid the same situation as the UK in terms of petrol pumps running dry and supermarket shelves left empty, Martin stated; “Yes, that is our ambition, that is our determination. Yes, we can.”
“We’re steady as she goes, and as far as we’re concerned, we’re not getting the same impacts as are currently happening in the UK.”
He stated that a number of factors have resulted in the UK’s current situation but that Brexit made it worse.
“I think the Brexit situation has exacerbated the situation in the UK, in terms of personnel for HGV drivers and so on, and indeed other sectors of the UK economy.”
IMAGE – “File:Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach – 27 June 2020 (50051632532).jpg” by Houses of the Oireachtas from Ireland is licensed under CC BY 2.0