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To save “Christmas” .. London speeds up visas for 10,000 foreign workers to solve the supply crisis

The British government is speeding up more than 10,000 temporary foreign visas as ministers rush to solve a supply chain crisis threatening Christmas, the Daily Mail says.

The newspaper pointed out that 5,000 heavy truck drivers and 5,500 poultry workers will receive three-month extraordinary visas allowing them to work in the UK until Christmas Eve.

The move comes amid a nationwide buying spree at petrol stations and a growing fear within Downing Street - the cabinet - that supermarket shelves may be empty by Christmas.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the changes, with visas available from next month, would ensure that preparations for the festive season continued.

But the Road Transport Association cautioned that the announcement "barely scratches the surface of the problem" and does not go into its depth, while the British Chambers of Commerce said the measures were inadequate.

Retailers have warned the government that it has only 10 days to save Christmas from a "significant disruption" due to a shortage of some 90,000 drivers in the freight sector.

It comes as thousands of desperate drivers ignored government pleas for calm as they took to the roads - as concerns mounted about the impact of ongoing fuel shortages on the economy.

Angry motorists were seen fighting on Saturday as the nationwide rush for fuel continued amid calls for calm from the government because fewer than 100 petrol stations were empty.

Footage showed clashes between panic-buyers punching and kicking each other during a violent altercation in the front yard of the Esau petrol station in Seidelsham, Chester, as roads were left blocked and police had to be called to mobilize drivers.