The British Government Alerts the Military to the Invasion of Fuel Purchases

The British government said it had the military on alert as part of measures to address a supply chain crisis that has seen gas stations in the country run out of fuel due to a rush of buyers.

The army’s mobilization comes after a widespread shortage of truck drivers has resulted in serious supply problems for retailers and restaurants in recent months. This means that the abundant stock of fuel has not yet reached the gas station.

Warnings about fuel shortages over the weekend have led to panic buying and long queues for hours, and resulted in gas stations in cities across the UK running out of fuel.

The government has announced plans to issue temporary visas to 5,000 foreign truck drivers, suspend competition laws and pull former drivers back into the industry as part of measures to tackle labor shortages.

The government will put a number of military tanker drivers on standby to be deployed if needed.

“While the fuel industry expects demand to return to normal levels in the coming days, it is appropriate for us to take this reasonable precautionary measure,” Business Affairs Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said in a statement late Monday (27/9).

A gas station owned by oil and gas company BP that runs out of fuel is seen in London, England, September 26, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Paul Childs)

A gas station owned by oil and gas company BP that runs out of fuel is seen in London, England, September 26, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Paul Childs)

“If needed, the deployment of military personnel will provide additional supply chain capacity as a temporary measure to help ease the pressure caused by the surge in local fuel demand.”

The government says army tanker drivers will receive specialized training before being deployed to help deal with supply chain issues.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent fuel retailers, said 50 to 90 per cent of petrol stations in the UK were running out of fuel.

The fuel industry says there is no shortage, and the problem is the transportation of gasoline and diesel. [ah/rs]

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