Military Could Be Drafted to Combat Fuel Crisis: UK
The British government calls on citizens not to rush into buying fuel, pledging to solve the shortage of supplies.
Lengthy queues of vehicles lined up at gas stations in the UK on Saturday, where an acute shortage of truck drivers has led to fuel rationing and some pumps running dry. In the meantime, the Secretary of State for Transport hinted at the possibility of drafting the military to fulfill the market's needs.
“THERE IS NO FUEL SHORTAGE”: Conservative MPs Take to Twitter as UK Petrol Stations SMASHED by PANIC Buyers#UK #UnitedKingdom #fuelshortage #fuelcrisis pic.twitter.com/OWsdeWSbU0— 5 News Australia (@5NewsAustralia) September 24, 2021
Britain is about to implement a plan whereby it would grant temporary visas to facilitate the work of foreign truck drivers to tackle the shortage issue, which has had impacts on vital sectors.
Newspapers have reported that the government would allow up to 5,000 foreign drivers into Britain on short-term visas, a measure that logistics companies and retailers have demanded for months, but which the government had previously ruled out.
But any modifications to Britain's immigration rules will be for a limited period of time only, with a maximum number of workers allowed into the country. Reports indicate that around 5,000 temporary visas could be issued.
"We're looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems, but any measures we introduce will be very strictly time-limited," a spokesperson for Johnson's Downing Street office said in a statement.
The UK's Road Haulage Association (RHA) says Britain is facing a shortage of some 100,000 drivers, a result of workers leaving the industry, Brexit, and COVID-19.
Government ministers and oil companies say that there are ample stocks of petrol or diesel and there is no cause for alarm, but the lack of truck drivers is hampering the transport of fuel from refineries to gas stations, urging people against panic-buying.