Graham Charles Lear
5 min readNov 11, 2021


I have never read as much puerile rubbish as this.

The author has not done one bit of actual research in this matter. and it shows as it reads like fiction.

Let me take the petrol chaos the UK saw

first. It lasted just a week and in many areas like where I live just a few days.

First of all, it was contrived rumour put about by a Remainer of the Drivers association to the Media. and people panicked because of it.

Let me tell you something If we had a problem we would have been seeing Petrol stations running out of fuel weeks ago.

First, you would have seen a couple run out. You didn't.

You would have then seen a few more run out, you didn't.

You would have seen the media reporting these petrol stations running out you didn't.

Then you would have seen more running out you didn't.

The Media would have been in a frenzy they weren't. It does not happen overnight like it did and it certainly does not get any better in areas like mine that a few days later was back to normal in every Petrol station in the city.

Now let's take a look at the shortage of drivers that you blame on Brexit. Unbelievable rubbish again.

How do you explain this?

The problem of driver shortages is not a UK phenomenon — it’s global

1. The IRU — Truck driver shortages in 2021 are expected to increase by over 25% worldwide

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) is the voice of more than 3.5 million companies operating mobility and logistics services in over 100 countries. Here is the IRU in June this year, following a member survey.

“Truck driver shortages are expected to increase in 2021 by over a quarter on 2020 levels in almost all of the 23 countries surveyed in IRU’s recent global survey of road transport firms.

“Gaps are set to increase at a much higher rate in some countries, including by 150% in Spain, 175% in Mexico and 192% in Turkey… Almost 40% of road transport operators surveyed cite skills gaps as the number one cause of driver shortages, in markets as diverse as the Czech Republic, Norway and Romania to Russia, Ukraine and Mexico.”

“As we look beyond the pandemic, many operators will find it impossible to find drivers to meet future customer demand.” ARE YOU GOING TO BLAME THAT ON BREXIT AS WELL?

2. British International Freight Association (BIFA) — European shortage of drivers reported in 2018.

With some 1500 members, BIFA represents organisations engaged in the movement of freight to/from the UK by all modes of transport: air, road, sea and rail.

Some members are also provided customs clearance and other cross border services.

Back in 2018 (before Brexit took place), BIFA cited the European Road Freight Transport report 2018, showing that in just six countries — the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and Norway — the shortage of drivers added up to 127,500.

“The UK led the way with a shortage of 52,000 drivers.

However, this was closely followed by Germany at 45,000 vacancies — with predictions that this could increase by a staggering 28,000 each year.

“France had a shortage of 20,000 drivers, while road freight associations in Sweden, Denmark and Norway reported shortages of 5,000, 2,500 and 3,000, respectively.” ARE YOU GOING TO BLAME THAT ON BREXIT AS WELL?

And this was all in 2018, well ahead of Brexit. Since then, further industry intelligence reports have shown the driver shortages in the major EU countries to have risen dramatically. Some of the latest studies show shortages of over 400,000 drivers in the EU27. ARE YOU GOING TO BLAME THAT ON BREXIT AS WELL?

3. The (UK) Road Haulage Association

In July this year (2021), the RHA conducted a survey about driver shortages. The №1 reason given by the respondents was ‘drivers retiring’ (58.54%). The RHA also made it clear that there has been a problem in the industry for years.

“Prior to the pandemic, [and therefore — Ed.] we estimated a shortage in excess of 60,000. At that time UK road transport businesses employed approximately 600,000 HGV drivers, including 60,000 from EU member states”


As part of the survey, the RHA also asked about the current impact of driver shortages: “On an average day last week, what proportion of your fleet was idle because there was no driver available?”

Almost two-thirds (65%) stated the proportion of their fleet that was idle due to driver shortages was below 10%. Whilst there are undoubtedly driver shortages if this survey is right then the problem needs to be seen in proportion.

The RHA also highlighted the problems caused by HMRC’s new tax treatment of self-employed drivers, under what is called ‘IR35’ rules. This has caused drivers to leave the industry.

“The large hauliers say that IR35 is the main reason for the current driver shortage crisis.”

- RHA Report on the Driver Shortage, 21 Jul 2021

So, not all about Brexit then…FAR FROM IT

Once again, a sober look at the facts shows that the Remainer hysteria about Brexit causing a collapse in the availability of drivers in the United Kingdom is wildly exaggerated.

Firstly, according to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), only 60,000 out of 600,000 HGV drivers came from the EU.

Secondly, many of these returned home because of COVID, not Brexit. As the RHA said in July this year: “Many drivers returned to their country of origin during extended periods of lockdown and restricted travel. The vast majority have not yet returned.”

Even more importantly, there are numerous reasons for the shortage of HGV drivers, not the least of which is the lack of new drivers being trained and the unattractiveness of the profession to young people because of historically low wages and the conditions under which they are forced to operate these days.

Thanks to COVID-19, there is a huge backlog of HGV drivers waiting to take their courses and tests. With a drop of almost 43,000 new drivers taking their test since Covid struck, it is hardly surprising that the industry is feeling the pinch.

Finally, as my research demonstrates, there is a shortage of HGV drivers worldwide, including in EU countries such as Germany and France.

So this problem is not confined to the United Kingdom.

Here is an idea try actually doing a bit of research from reputable sources and not from the media which you have done and which I dont.

By doing that you actually get to the truth of what's going on.

Sources: Dept of Transport | Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency | DVLA | International Road Transport Union | British International Freight Association | Road Haulage Association



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.