The British Army will start delivering patrol to forecourts across the country starting Monday, as the government makes its most drastic intervention yet to try to resolve a crisis that has gripped the nation.

The British Army will be deployed to distribute fuel to forecourts across the country from Monday as the government makes its most radical intervention to resolve the recent fuel crisis that has grappled the nation. 

In a statement on Friday, the government said that as many as 200 military personnel, including 100 drivers, would be deployed to distribute fuel across the country’s forecourts adding that the government would also introduce a program allowing as many as 300 foreign tanker drivers to enter the country until the end of March.

The decision came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to relieve his followers at the Conservative Party’s annual conference. According to the Petrol Retailers Association, it would take weeks for supply to return to normal after the business confidence plunged in September partly because of the fuel crisis.

Petrol shortage causes

The gasoline shortage happened nearly a week ago when British motorists found service stations closed and long lines at those that still had gasoline and diesel. The shortages provoked an angry response from some members of the public and made life difficult for drivers across the country.

The root cause was an acute shortage of tanker drivers, exacerbated since the start of this year by Brexit. However, the panic about buying worsened the situation.

There are now signs that shortages at the pumps are easing. The independent fuel suppliers Petrol Retailers Association said that about 27% of the 5,450 service stations it monitored were short on fuel, down from 37% on Tuesday and 66% earlier this week.

Earlier, the government in a statement also denied the shortages saying that more fuel is being delivered to the pumps than is being sold, and repeated that there’s no national shortage.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Steve Barclay said, “If people continue to revert to the normal buying patterns, we will see smaller queues and prevent petrol stations closing,” 

Other supply issues

Moreover, In an attempt to address a broader problem with food supply and the potential shortage of Christmas turkeys, the government also said that 4,700 food haulage drivers from overseas will get visas through the end of February, and 5,500 poultry workers will be able to stay until the end of the year.

The shortage of truck drivers in the United Kingdom happened earlier a year ago. However, it has been exacerbated recently by the pandemic, which delayed the issue of new licenses, and Brexit, which resulted in tens of thousands of EU nationals leaving trucking jobs and other occupations in Britain. Since the start of this year, new post-Brexit immigration rules have made it even harder for many of them to return.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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