// The Prime Minister has appointed Mr Gove to lead a cross-governmental committee
// The group is set to look at increasing the number of HGV drivers and work with food suppliers
Michael Gove has been tasked with fixing the UK’s ongoing food supply chain issues, amid fears of severe shortages this Christmas .
Industry leaders have previously warned people to prepare for permanent shortages in supermarkets because of a lack of lorry drivers and food-processing workers, which disrupts “just-in-time” supply chains.
The Prime Minister has appointed Mr Gove to lead a cross-governmental committee to rapidly increase the number of HGV drivers and work with food suppliers.
- UK delays checks on EU goods until 2022 to reduce strain on supply chains
- Over half of Brits experiencing food shortages
- Shops could see Christmas shortages over driver issues – Tesco chairman
The National Economic Recovery Taskforce will co-ordinate government departments responsible for the food chain and is expected to run along similar lines to the no-deal Brexit preparations apparatus.
The committee is expected to push through changes to the HGV licensing system that can cost applicants more than £250 and requires refreshers. The government has abandoned tests for caravan drivers to free up more spaces for HGV drivers.
Archie Norman, the chairman of Marks and Spencer, told LBC this week that supermarkets were facing a “perfect storm”, adding it was going to be a “bumpy ride” before Christmas.
According to The Times, Boris Johnson joked at Monday’s Cabinet meeting that the move was because he “didn’t want to have to cancel Christmas again”.
Gove is also under pressure to look again at changing immigration rules in order to allow short-term visas that would let companies use EU employees.
A senior government source said that this faced fierce resistance in the Home Office.
The Brexit minister Lord Frost has announced a further delay until next year of Brexit border controls on food entering Britain from Europe.