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We asked for it

2nd October 2008
Page 3
Page 3, 2nd October 2008 — We asked for it
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The British Nationa Party IBNP) campaign to defend British hauliers and drivers against foreign competition is clearly serious. What its not, however, is credible. Its argument that 'enough is enough when it comes to foreign operators doing domestic work over here demands a simple answer to this simple question: -How many UK operators would be willing to subcontract a domestic load to a cheaper foreigner if it meant making money out of r" We'd suggest quite a few.

And while the BNP may see the biggest threat to UK hauliers as coming from without, in truth, it has always come from within. What holds this industry back isn't the influx of foreign operators, but the inability of its domestic members to set and hold a profitable rate. And that's been going on long before the arrival of cabotage, Johnny Foreigner or the BNP It's ironic that in a week where the BNP should make a rare appearance in

CM's news pages, we should also carry an investigation into how those Polish HGV drivers who have kept UK Haulage PLC going in recent years are returning home.

In case anyone has forgotten why so many Poles and other foreign nationals came to the UK in the first place, it was because there was a desperate shortage of HGV drivers that was not being met by British nationals — many of whom don't want to drive a truck fore living.

Its hard to see why not. Apart from the grinding hours, poor wages, indifferent bosses and rotten working conditions who wouldn't want to? So the reason why foreign drivers and increasingly) foreign operators come to the UK is quite simply because enough British companies want them here. And that inconvenient truth is something the BNP, and anyone else, will just have to get used to. Brian Weatherley

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