UK deploys military at refinery as fuel crisis deepens - GulfToday

UK deploys military at refinery as fuel crisis deepens


A fuel tanker is driven from the Buncefield Oil Depot in Hemel Hempstead, Britain, on Sunday. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

British military personnel in combat fatigues arrived on Monday at a BP refinery as army tanker drivers are to start delivering fuel to petrol stations in an emergency move prompted by the continuing crisis at the pumps.

After the government ordered the army to help deliver fuel amid an acute shortage of truckers as UK’s supply chains for everything from petrol and poultry to medicines and milk have been strained to breaking point by shortages of labour in the wake of the Brexit and COVID crises.


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The Petrol Retailers Association has said that the fuel supply crisis is “virtually at an end” in parts of the United Kingdom, but problems persist in London and the South East.

Drivers queue for petrol as panic buying continues in London. Reuters

According to the reports in London and the South East, 22 per cent of filling stations were dry, and 60 per cent had both grades of fuel available.

Panic buying of fuel amid the shortage of truckers triggered chaotic scenes across major cities last week with queues of drivers stacked up. Some have had fist fights over the pumps while others hoarded fuel in old water bottles.

"As an extra precaution, we've put the extra drivers on," Prime Minister Boris Johnson's finance minister, Rishi Sunak, told LBC radio.

"The situation has been improving now for I think over a week every day ... it is getting better and as demand settles back to more normal levels the strong expectation is things will resolve themselves."

Cars wait in line to refill at a Tesco fuel station in south London on Sunday. Reuters

British ministers have repeatedly denied that the fuel crisis has anything to do with Brexit and have cast the trucker shortage as a global problem, though other European neighbours have not experienced queues at gas stations.

"The HGV drivers is not a UK issue, it's a Europe wide issue and beyond," Sunak said. "I want people to know that we are doing everything we can to mitigate some of those challenges, where we can make a difference."

Amid the gas station crisis, farmers have repeatedly warned that a shortage of butchers and abattoir workers could force a cull of more than 100,000 pigs backed up on farms.



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