UK may call in the army to tackle ongoing petrol crisis – reports

The British government could deploy military personnel to deliver gasoline to services stations if the situation with fuel shortages shows no sign of improving, media reported.

A series of emergency measures were announced by the authorities over the weekend to address the fuel crisis, including issuing temporary work visas for up to 5,500 foreign truck drivers and suspending the competition law to allow suppliers to deliver fuel to rival operators.

This came as long queues of cars have been seen outside UK gas stations in recent days, with drivers attempting to fill up their vehicles amid media reports of an impending shortage.

According to Gordon Balmer, executive director of the UK’s Petrol Retailers Association, temporary visas would ease supply constraints to an extent, but that is not enough. He told LBC News on Monday that he hoped the government was indeed considering measures like bringing in the army. “A lot of people have filled up over the weekend, many people only fill up once a month,” he said, adding: “That might give us some respite to start to replenish stocks over the next few days.”

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Cars queue outside a petrol station in Reading, England, Saturday Sept. 25, 2021. © Steve Parsons/PA via AP
UK transport minister adds fuel to fire by saying there will be no petrol shortage if Brits just stop queuing at petrol stations

On Friday, the Automobile Association (AA) appealed for calm after oil giant BP said it had temporarily closed some of its gas stations due to shortages of unleaded and diesel petrol. “These have been caused by some delays in the supply chain which has been impacted by the industry-wide driver shortages across the UK and there are many actions being taken to address the issue,” BP’s spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said on Sunday that he had exempted the fuel industry from UK competition laws, which he said would allow companies to “share information and prioritize the delivery of fuel to areas most in need.”

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