UK eyes visa change to ease trucker drought amid run on gas

UK eyes visa change to ease trucker drought amid run on gas
A sign shows fuel rationing at an Esso fuel station in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 25 September 2021

UK eyes visa change to ease trucker drought amid run on gas

UK eyes visa change to ease trucker drought amid run on gas
  • Government said any action it took would be “very strictly time-limited”

LONDON: In a U-turn, the British government is expected to ease visa rules for truck drivers to help fix supply-chain problems that have triggered long lines at gas stations and some shuttered pumps.
The government said late Friday it was “looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems.” It said any action it took would be “very strictly time-limited.”
The haulage industry says the UK is short tens of thousands of truckers, due to a perfect storm of factors including the coronavirus pandemic, an aging workforce and an exodus of foreign workers following Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Post-Brexit immigration rules mean EU citizens can no longer live and work visa-free in Britain, as they could when the UK was a member of the trade bloc. Trucking companies have been urging the Conservative government to ease immigration rules so drivers can more easily be recruited from across Europe.
Britain’s farming and food processing industries, which are short of fruit-pickers and meat-packers, have made similar requests.
The government has resisted, saying British workers should be trained up to take the jobs. It has stressed that Britain is not short of fuel, but that has not stopped motorists forming lines at gas stations to fill up just in case.
Sporadic supply chains at supermarkets and other shops starting several weeks ago also were attributed to a lack of delivery drivers.
BP and Esso shut a handful of their stations in Britain this week because there were not enough truckers to get gas to the pumps. EG Group, which operates about 400 UK gas stations, said it was limiting purchases to 30 pounds ($41).
In a statement, the government said Britain had “ample fuel stocks.”
“But like countries around the world, we are suffering from a temporary COVID-related shortage of drivers needed to move supplies around the country,” it said, not acknowledging Brexit as a factor.
The head of the Confederation of British Industry, Tony Danker, said the driver shortage was in part “a Brexit hangover.”
“We had several drivers go home that we wouldn’t have wanted to go home, and I think there is this bigger question of the immigration system, and it’s a complicated one,” he told the BBC.
Danker said easing visa rules would be “a huge relief.”
“It’s a shame the government needed queues at the pumps to move, but move I hope they have, and it will help,” he said.


ACWA Power among bidders of 1,200 MW Saudi renewable energy projects 

ACWA Power among bidders of 1,200 MW Saudi renewable energy projects 
Updated 11 sec ago

ACWA Power among bidders of 1,200 MW Saudi renewable energy projects 

ACWA Power among bidders of 1,200 MW Saudi renewable energy projects 

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Energy announced the list of candidates for bids received from developers, participating in the third phase of renewable energy projects in the Kingdom, consisting of four independent generation projects (IPP) for solar photovoltaic energy with a total capacity of 1200 MW.

French Total Solar and ACWA Power are both candidates for the Wadi Al-Dawasir project with a capacity of 120 MW, while ACWA Power and AlFanar Energy Company are candidates for the Laila project with a capacity of 80 MW, under Category A.


What is the future of food? Dubai forum talks answers

What is the future of food? Dubai forum talks answers
Updated 3 min 59 sec ago

What is the future of food? Dubai forum talks answers

What is the future of food? Dubai forum talks answers
  • The UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam bint Al-Mheiri is opening the first day of the 2-day forum

DUBAI: High-profile personalities in the food and beverage sector gathered at the Dubai Exhibition Center on Tuesday to talk about the future of food. 

The UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam bint Al-Mheiri is opening the first day of the 2-day forum addressing government efforts in supporting manufacturers. 

Other top executives — from organizations such as Pepsico, Kellogs, and Agthia — will also take the stage to answer questions in food sustainability, supply chain challenges, and other crucial topics in the region’s F&B scene. 


Saudi holdings of US treasury bills fell to lowest in 14 months

Saudi holdings of US treasury bills fell to lowest in 14 months
Updated 9 min 53 sec ago

Saudi holdings of US treasury bills fell to lowest in 14 months

Saudi holdings of US treasury bills fell to lowest in 14 months

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's holding of US Treasury securities decreased by the end of August to $124.1 billion, the lowest since May 2020, according to new data from the US government.

The Saudi holdings in August were down by 3.1 percent or $4 billion compared to the previous month.

The holdings declined by 4.5 percent equivalent to $5.9 billion on an annual basis, compared to August 2020, the data showed.


Gold edges lower as US Treasury yields rise

Gold edges lower as US Treasury yields rise
Updated 18 October 2021

Gold edges lower as US Treasury yields rise

Gold edges lower as US Treasury yields rise

BENGALURU: Gold edged lower on Monday as a rise in US Treasury yields dented its appeal, although a risk-off sentiment in wider financial markets limited losses for the metal.

Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,765.14 per ounce by 1:35 p.m. EDT (1735 GMT), while US gold futures settled down 0.2 percent at $1,765.70.

“If yields keep rising, the headwinds will remain significant for gold,” OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said.

“Unless markets start to price in bad news for the economy and stock markets, which may be a rational next step if policymakers insist on tightening even as the recovery remains sluggish and downside risks significant.”

Sentiment in wider financial markets remained weak as economic growth in China slowed, while a relentless surge in oil prices fueled concerns about elevated inflation.

US benchmark 10-year Treasury yields climbed as investors ramped up rate hike bets, while the dollar index held steady.

While gold is seen as an inflation hedge, it also contends with the greenback for safe-haven status. Reduced central bank stimulus and the prospect of interest rate hikes push government bond yields up, weighing on non-yielding bullion.

Other precious metals also dipped, with silver down 0.3 percent at $23.21 per ounce and platinum slipping 1.8 percent to $1,035.29. Palladium shed 3.3 percent to $2,005.07, its lowest in over a week.


New York makes registration mandatory for crypto lending platforms

New York makes registration mandatory for crypto lending platforms
Updated 24 min 6 sec ago

New York makes registration mandatory for crypto lending platforms

New York makes registration mandatory for crypto lending platforms
  • State’s attorney general directs unregistered outlets to cease operations

RIYADH: New York has made it mandatory on cyrptocurrency lending platforms to register with the Office of the Attorney General if they wish to operate in the state or offer their products to New Yorkers.

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday said these steps are aimed to protect New York investors and markets from exploitation by high-risk virtual currency schemes.

The official also ordered the closure of two cryptocurrency lending platforms in New York and three other platforms were directed to provide information about their business.

“Cryptocurrency platforms must follow the law, just like everyone else,” James said.

The move comes weeks after the attorney general won a court order forcing the closure of cryptocurrency exchange Coinseed.

“My office is responsible for ensuring industry players do not take advantage of unsuspecting investors. We’ve already taken action against a number of crypto platforms and coins that engaged in fraud or that illegally operated in New York,” he said.