– We work hard to ensure the continuity of supplies to customers. Since Friday, we have been recording above-average demand at our filling stations, which has depleted stocks of certain fuels. We complete it as soon as possible – we read it in a tweet posted by Shell Stations UK.
Great Britain in a fuel crisis
Government officials (including Transport Secretary Grant Shapps) maintain that the shortages are only caused by consumer panic, and the UK has no problem with fuel availability. A joint statement with a similar tone was previously issued by Shell, ExxonMobil and Greenergy.
“However, there is absolutely no problem” – writes Next.gazeta.pl journalist Maria Mazuric. This is the case, but not with the goods, but with the logistics. There is a shortage of truck drivers in the UK to deliver fuel from refineries to stations. This shortage has been around for several months and has been exacerbated by the pandemic. First, Brexit has done a disservice – after de facto exit from the EU, immigration law was introduced in the UK, making it difficult for potential workers from EU countries to come. The coronavirus pandemic has also made it more difficult for Britons to train for this profession. There will be up to 100,000 vacancies in total.
Operation Escalin is on the table
The government, after calls from the transport and trade industries, took action. Over the weekend, it announced that it would issue 5,000 temporary work visas (until Christmas Eve) to truck drivers. In addition, 400,000 people will be trained, and letters encouraging them to return to the profession will be sent to already licensed large truck drivers (nearly one million people on the islands).
It was also announced that fuel companies will be temporarily excluded from competition law, so they can freely share information and cooperate to ensure supplies. The ministers also discussed the possibility of carrying out “Operation Ascalin”. Talks on the issue are scheduled to continue on Monday at a meeting with Boris Johnson.
“Operation Escalin” is a plan prepared a few years ago incident The so-called hard Brexit, i.e. a situation in which the United Kingdom, without reaching an agreement with the European Union, leaves it without a deal, and in a disorderly and undisciplined manner, which may cause serious disruptions or even chaos in various sectors of the economy. The plan was to use soldiers as drivers in an emergency.
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