Business & Economy

UK not to deploy army to help ease fuel shortages

By Patricia Rodriguez

London, Sep 27 (EFE).- The UK government Monday said it was not planning to deploy military to deliver fuel to gas stations after a shortage of truck drivers forced some service stations to shut down last week due to a lack of supply of both gasoline and diesel.

“We have no plans at the moment to bring in the army to actually do driving,” British environment minister George Eustice told local media.

“The most important thing is that people buy petrol as they normally would. There isn’t a shortage. There have been some shortages of HGV drivers getting petrol to forecourts but actually that is quite limited,” he added.

The minister’s remarks come as some gas stations reported a 500% surge in demand for petrol compared to last week.

Earlier, Brian Madderson, the chief of the Petrol Retailers Association, claimed that panic buying broke out after somebody “leaked a confidential BP report to a cabinet meeting on September 16.”

“We had problems of HGV shortages of drivers getting fuel tankers to the forecourts, but it wasn’t a critical situation at that stage,” he explained.

In response, the government said Sunday it would grant 5,000 temporary visas for fuel tanker and food delivery truck drivers eligible to work in the UK over the next three months, a measure deemed insufficient by the country’s transport companies who say some 100,000 workers are needed.

Edwin Atema from the Dutch FNV union that represents drivers all over Europe told ITV channel that the short-term visas will not be enough to draw in drivers.

“The EU workers that we speak to will not go to the UK for a short-term visa to help the UK out of the shit they created themselves,” he stressed.

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