In recent days, the British have been facing the disturbing reality of waiting in long lines at gas stations to fill the tanks of their cars, Radio Free Europe (RFE) reported today in the world media.
It is pointed out that the supply of fuel, which was taken for granted in Great Britain, was disrupted due to the lack of tank drivers, which was contributed to by the coronary virus pandemic and the withdrawal of Great Britain from membership in the European Union (EU) Brexit.
Gas stations in the UK dried up on Monday, and sellers imposed restrictions on sales as a shortage of truck drivers strained supply chains to the point of burst, Reuters points out.
According to Reuters, the lack of truck drivers after Brexit, along with the mitigation of the corona virus pandemic, brought chaos to the British supply chains in everything from food to fuel, causing a series of disturbances and price increases on the eve of Christmas.
Car drivers stood in line for hours to refuel cars at gas stations that continued to sell fuel, albeit often streamlined.
The Gasoline Sellers Association, which represents independent fuel vendors, which make up 65 per cent of Britain’s 8,380 gas stations, said its members reported 50 to 90 per cent of gas stations in some areas, although suppliers say they expect the situation to return soon. in normal.
Panic purchases have raised fuel prices to the highest level in the last eight years, the Times points out, adding that incidents among drivers have been recorded at gas stations.
As the fuel crisis worsened, in one video that spread on social networks, an angry driver was seen pulling a knife on another, in an obvious quarrel over gasoline.
Prices at the pumps have not been so high since September 2013, with the London paper underlining warnings that the situation could worsen for drivers as retailers pass on the costs of rising wholesale prices.
Rising gasoline prices, however, did not prevent chaotic scenes at gas stations across the UK, as the crisis entered its fourth day.
Some drivers followed the fuel tanks on the roads, while others hid in the toilets waiting for the pumps to reopen.
Other drivers filled water bottles with gasoline or slept in their vehicles waiting in line for hours.
British medical workers and transport companies have warned that the fuel crisis threatens major disruptions in basic services and industry, seeking priority access to gasoline and diesel after a panicked purchase of fuel, points out the Financial Times (The Financial Times).
The scale of the crisis, in which most of Britain’s 8,000 petrol stations ran out of fuel, forced the government to put the military on standby to help with deliveries.
The ministers said that the drivers of the tanks of the British army will be deployed if it is necessary to strengthen the supply chains and ensure that the fuel reaches where it is most needed.
The supply of fuel that the British used to take for granted was cut off, while queues of cars clogged the streets near gas stations, and some companies that depend on fuel stopped working, writes the New York Times (The New York Times).
Before members of the government met on Monday to discuss the crisis, Environment Minister George Eustice said fuel shortages could be alleviated if people stopped refilling their tanks.
Critics say the comments are an attempt to blame British citizens for shortages that are at least partly a consequence of government policies, such as restrictions on immigration from EU countries after Brexit, which make it harder for companies to hire drivers from EU members.
Members of the government claim that the solution is to train a larger number of drivers and improve salaries and conditions in that difficult job.
However, it is a long.term perspective and the government in London has been forced to change its policy and offer 5,000 temporary work visas to foreign truckers, as well as to suspend antitrust rules to allow oil companies to consolidate stock information and coordinate deliveries.
Long queues at gas stations waiting impatiently to fill their cars have become a disturbing reality in the UK in recent days, giving Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government a big headache and raising fears of another winter of discontent, writes Foreign Policy (The Foreign Policy) and points out that both Brexit and the corona virus are responsible for the crisis.
Although the shortage of truckers is a problem in many European countries, the UK has been particularly hard hit and Brexit is directly pointed out in Europe as the culprit.
The Foreign Policy points out that the situation was not alleviated by the COVID.19 pandemic, as many foreign drivers went to other countries with restrictions due to the corona virus, mostly without returning.
The measures also closed driving centers, meaning there were fewer driving exams for hauliers, which in turn meant there were 25,000 fewer candidates last year who could pass the test compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, it is taking a political toll, exacerbated by record high energy prices and the collapse of many small electricity suppliers. Most Britons criticize how the government solves the problem, while polls indicate that Johnson’s advantage in the rating over the rival from the Labor Party evaporated amid fears of the return of the “winter of discontent” from the seventies.
The fuel crisis, according to the Foreign Policy, also points to one of the dangers of the whole Brexit adventure – the loss of a European workforce crucial to the country’s functioning will never be a recipe for stability, although it was popular with voters seeking regain control. over the British borders and who brought Johnson to head the government.