Temporary visas could be offered to European truck drivers to ensure things get moving again (Picture: Rex / Getty / PA)

Immigration rules are set to be relaxed to allow more foreign truck drivers into the UK, according to reports.

Temporary visas could be offered to European drivers, giving them the right to work in the country in an attempt to fix the shortages that have been causing chaos.

Boris Johnson has ordered the change after becoming fed up with ‘bad headlines’, The Financial Times reported.

Rules that came into place after Brexit mean that lorry drivers currently do not meet the skills threshold to qualify for work visas in the UK.

There are at least 100,000 vacancies in the haulage industry and petrol stations have begun to close because of difficulties in transporting fuel.

It was this that led ministers including Priti Patel to drop their opposition to the temporary visa plan, sources told the FT.

Even if it is made easier for HGV drivers to be let in, there is no guarantee they will want to come as there are also shortages in continental Europe.

A source said the prime minister had issued instructions to fix the escalating problem. An ally of Mr Johnson added: ‘Boris is completely fed up with bad headlines on this and wants it sorted and doesn’t care about visa limits any more.’

People are being urge not to panic buy fuel (Picture: PA)

Yesterday’s announcements from BP and Esso that they were having to close some of their petrol stations temporarily has led to chaos on the forecourts.

Despite calls for people not to panic, long queues have been reported today as people rush to fill up.

Ministers were due to meet on Friday afternoon to discuss possible solutions to the crisis.

Earlier, Transport Minister Grant Shapps pledged: ‘I’ll move heaven and Earth to do anything that’s required to make sure that lorries carry on moving our goods and services and petrol around the country’.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 24: A queue forms for an Esso petrol station on September 24, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. BP and Esso have announced that its ability to transport fuel from refineries to its branded petrol station forecourts is being impacted by the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers and as a result, it will be rationing deliveries to ensure continuity of supply. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Some petrol stations have had to close temporarily due to difficulties keeping pumps stocked up (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, he denied that Brexit was to blame for the shortage of lorry drivers, arguing that the split from the European Union has helped the Government react.

‘Not only are there very large and even larger shortages in other EU countries like Poland and Germany, which clearly can’t be to do with Brexit, but actually because of Brexit I’ve been able to change the law and alter the way our driving tests operate in a way I could not have done if we were still part of the EU,’ he said.

‘So, Brexit actually has provided part of the solution of giving more slots available for HGV (heavy goods vehicle) tests and there are a lot more, twice as many, tests available now than before the pandemic, a large proportion of those we’ve only been able to do because we are no longer in the EU.’

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