It was a self-care day in the Mystical dorm room. Scorch brought out a couple of vanilla-scented candles and lit them and they both got busy.

Right then, Verum’s crystal ball began its spinning and humming. Verum said, “Mysticals, the United Kingdom (UK) has a rather strange problem. Long queues of vehicles have formed in front of gas pumps which have run dry. Oil giants like BP and ExxonMobil have warned they’ll have to shut the pumps. Can you guess why?”

“Is the UK running out of fuel?” said a shocked Orak. To him, this didn’t seem probable.

“No, that’s not it,” replied Verum, “There is enough fuel in the country. But there aren’t enough truck drivers to supply it to the gas pumps. And when people found out about this problem, they started panic-buying more and more fuel. Panic-buying is when a person stocks up on a commodity fearing it may run out soon.”

“What? You’re right, that is a strange problem,” said Orak, “But how did that happen?”

“Well, according to the UK’s Road Haulage Association (RHA), Britain is experiencing a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers,” said Verum, “The UK moved out of the European Union (EU) on 31st January 2020 in a move called ‘Brexit’. A transition period followed which ended with 2020.”

She added, “With Brexit, new rules, regulations, and a whole lot of extra paperwork has come into effect. Drivers leaving the industry, Brexit, and the Covid-19 pandemic led to this crisis.”

“So, what is the solution?” said Felix.

“The British government has decided to issue temporary visas to 5,000 foreign truck drivers as a short-term solution. But the retail sector claims this won’t be enough as it requires at least 15,000 truck drivers,” said Verum, “The government, however, has said this isn’t a long-term solution. According to it, the long-term solution would be to hire more British drivers with better pay and conditions.”

“So, along with this, up to 4,000 people will be trained as new truck drivers,” added Verum, “The government will send out letters to at least a million people with licenses to drive heavy vehicles like trucks, asking them to rejoin the industry. And finally, the process of testing to issue these licenses will be speeded up.”