UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour says action is needed in the haulage industry to address a serious shortage of lorry drivers. UKIP has pledged to scrap the EU’s controversial Certificate of Professional Competence, which is driving thousands of drivers out of the industry.
She said: “The Freight Transport Association believes more than 20,000 drivers have quit in the past six months, leaving the country with a serious shortage of delivery drivers.
“And unless the situation is urgently addressed, it could start to hit the food chain to such a degree that, in the worst case scenario, may even lead to empty shelves on our supermarkets.”
The Certificate of Professional Competence, an EU-wide standard, compels drivers to sit through 35 hours of extra training, costing them hundreds of pounds.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has defended the rules, claiming it is important that drivers need to know how to drive their lorries properly.
But Mrs Seymour, who is fighting The Wrekin seat for UKIP at the general election, said: “This is yet another classic case of the EU meddling in our affairs.
“Our haulage industry was operating perfectly efficiently and safely before this rule came into effect. Britain has an effective testing regime. Once again, needless directives forcing Britain to conform with Europe are damaging our economy.”
She added: “We know that the Conservatives can’t be trusted to give us an in-out referendum which would allow us to scrap this unnecessary piece of EU bureaucracy."
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