A new system of managed migration will allow the road transport industry to recruit skills internationally after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, has assured operators.

In a parliamentary debate on the impact of Brexit on the transport industry Grayling also insisted that he wanted a “new generation of young drivers” and there was much that the government could do to make the profession more attractive.

However Alan Brown SNP MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun argued that haulage companies currently rely on EU drivers, courtesy of licence harmonisation. Brown also insisted that there will be a shortage of 40,000 HGV drivers by 2020.

Rob Flello, Labour MP for Stoke South, also believed that the DfT and DVSA would not be able to cope with the sheer volume of work needed to accept or replace existing EU legislation. He insisted that the DVSA was already under-resourced and “and bereft of serious powers relating to non-UK vehicles – a situation which, without better financial and statutory support will only get worse after Brexit”.

“I am concerned about the level of staffing available in the DfT to consider these important issues,” he said after the Exiting the EU and Transport debate.

“The FTA, RHA and magazines such as Motor Transport and others are doing a lot of work on the implications of Brexit for some, if not all, of the industry, and I believe they stand ready to help the Department,” Flello added.