Shift of gear
THE fact that the shortage of truckers is afflicting most of Europe and America as well as Britain seems lost on those hell-bent on blaming Brexit.
But we CAN use the immigration powers reclaimed by our new independence to ease our supply woes.
Leave voters wanted our Government to be able to control the ebb and flow of migrant workers to suit our economy’s needs. So a temporary, emergency relaxation of visa rules now to let more EU drivers in is consistent and right.
It must remain a short-term fix.
We must not revert to a market where endless cheap foreign labour crushes British truckers’ wages.
Those have been rising rapidly. Long-term, firms must be prepared to pay higher rates and improve terms and conditions to make HGV driving a decent, well-paid career and ensure staff shortages never again leave them so exposed.
Rehiring recently retired truckers is a good idea too. They can start quickly and may fancy the new pay rates. So might others seeking a career change or facing unemployment as furlough ends.
We must speed up the process of recruiting, training and testing them. But that will still take time — and we don’t have much of it.
If a temporary influx of EU drivers can help, bring them on.
A home win
HERE’S a golden chance, deep in extra time, to snatch a small victory from the jaws of our Afghanistan defeat.
The Taliban takeover has been a catastrophe for women’s rights, reversing 20 years of gains. Once again they are shrouded in black and barred from politics, education and sport.
But 32 girls from the Afghan youth football squad, along with their families, are temporarily in Pakistan where they have fled. We should fly all 111 out to begin new lives in Britain.
Leeds United is ready to find them homes and absorb the kids into their youth setup. A firm has offered to fund some costs too.
What an opportunity to change their lives for the better — and promote our compassionate Western values against the tyranny of Islamist extremism.
So we say this to Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel:
Our retreat from Afghanistan after the US pulled the plug had almost no upside. Yet even now here’s an open goal.
Don’t miss, PM. Give the nod today.
Our heavy hitter
HE’S a giant with a big heart . . . and a great friend to The Sun.
We’ll be right behind Anthony Joshua tonight as puts his three world heavyweight titles on the line against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk.
Best of luck, AJ. Give him hell.