The British military on Monday began deploying military tanker drivers to deliver petrol to fuel stations to solve the country’s energy crisis.
A Reuters reporter said British soldiers in combat uniform arrived at a BP refinery to help deliver fuel amid a severe shortage of truck drivers.
In recent days, Britain has been hit hard by fuel shortages, public anger and panic buying.
Military drivers were put on standby at the beginning of the week and have since received specialized training.
It is the UK’s worst fuel crisis in decades, with images of motorists forming long lines at fuel stations to secure supplies threatening government credibility.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government says a shortage of tanker drivers and unprecedented demand to deliver fuel are behind the crisis.
Oil companies have assured that there is no shortfall in supply, just a delivery problem.
Why is there a shortage of drivers?
Critics, pointing to its harsh approach to Brexit, blamed the government for the driver shortage, which led to a shortage of drivers from Eastern Europe, who would normally deliver fuel to the pumps.
But the government refutes this claim and argues that the pandemic is to blame. Ministers stressed that truck shortages are a global problem, although other European countries have not experienced a similar situation at fuel stations.
To combat the problem, the authorities did a U-turn on short-term visas, offering another 5,000 visas for drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and another 5,000 for poultry workers.
But this is far short of the number needed, according to industry associations, which estimate the UK needs 100,000 more drivers to meet demand.
European truck drivers’ representatives also suspect drivers will want to come to the UK on visas that expire on 24 December.
The British government says the long-term solution is to hire more British drivers and offer better pay and conditions. Has been paused during training and testing coronavirus global pandemic.
What is the Current Status?
Fuel demand has stabilized over the past few days, but some parts of the country are still facing acute shortages.
While fuel stations in London and the southeast England The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said on Saturday that the situation in northern England and Scotland, which is facing fuel shortage, has improved.
Driver shortages have affected not only fuel delivery, but also other supplies of consumer goods, making empty shelves a common sight in supermarkets.
Despite the problems, Johnson vowed on Saturday to move forward with his post-Brexit agenda for Britain.
He has also angered Brussels by threatening to end some of the new trading arrangements for Northern Ireland. In addition, British authorities have delayed the full implementation of the new border checks on imports from the European Union.
The EU has said it will not renegotiate the terms of the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol, which governs trade between Britain and its province, which borders EU member Ireland.