The UK government is considering drafting hundreds of soldiers to man tanker trucks to gas stations that have run out of fuel because of panic buying and shortage of drivers, the British media reported on Monday
LONDON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th September, 2021) The UK government is considering drafting hundreds of soldiers to man tanker trucks to gas stations that have run out of fuel because of panic buying and shortage of drivers, the British media reported on Monday.
According to The Times and other newspapers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to meet with senior members of his cabinet later on Monday to discuss the implementation of 'Operation Escalin', which was first conceived during the planning for a no-deal Brexit.
Panic buying started on September 23, after energy company British Petroleum announced that tens of forecourts in its 1,200-strong network were experiencing fuel shortages, while Tesco and Esso said some of their sites were also affected due to a shortage in tanker drivers.
Over the weekend, after more gas stations ran out of supply, the government said it would introduce over 10,000 temporary visas to truck drivers and poultry workers to solve the issue with the supply chain.
Late on Sunday night, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng also announced that fuel firms would be temporarily excluded from the Competition Act to minimize disruptions in the supply of fuel to gas stations.
The government has blamed the suspension of 40,000 trucker training tests during the COVID-19 pandemic for the shortage, but the Road Haulage Association claimed that around 20,000 foreign drivers had left the country after Brexit put an end to the free movement of persons between the European Union and the UK.
Brian Madderson, chairman of the petrol Retailers Association, told Sky news broadcaster that he hopes to see less vehicles queuing for fuel from Wednesday, as "a lot of cars have now got a lot of fuel in them" following a panic buying weekend.