British PM opposes easing immigration rules

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken a negative view of easing rules for accepting immigrants to address the shortage of truck drivers and other workers.

A shortage of tanker drivers has resulted in empty gas pumps across Britain. The military has been sent in to help deliver gasoline. Restaurants and cafes are also struggling to find workers.

The shortfall is blamed on Britain's departure from the European Union and a decline in workers from the EU due to coronavirus restrictions.

The government plans to issue temporary visas to about 5,000 truck drivers. But as many as 100,000 drivers are said to be needed.

At the Conservative Party's annual conference on Wednesday, Johnson said, "We're not going back to the same old broken model, with low wages, low growth, low skills and low productivity -- all of it enabled and assisted by uncontrolled immigration."

He stressed the need to invest in personnel training and in facilities and equipment, rather than relying on low-wage labor from abroad.