Britain put the military on standby Monday to help with the ongoing fuel crisis. Petrol and diesel shortages have occurred at petrol stations because there are too few truck drivers to supply them. The problems are exacerbated by Britons who drive flock to pumps to stock up, for fear of running out of fuel.
“A limited number of military tanker drivers must be prepared and deployed if necessary to further stabilize the fuel supply chain,” the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced in a statement on Monday night.
The military will receive specialized training before deploying if the crisis does not decrease in the coming days. “While the fuel industry expects demand to return to normal levels in the coming days, it is right that we are taking this sensitive precaution,” said UK Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng. “If necessary, the deployment of military personnel will provide the supply chain with additional capacity as a temporary measure to alleviate the pressure caused by spikes in local fuel demand,” he added.
To counter the driver deficit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last weekend to provide thousands of temporary work visas to foreign lorry drivers. He made a drastic change in the stringent post-Brexit immigration policy.
Oil companies, including Shell, BP and Esso, said there was “enough fuel at the UK refineries.” They expect demand to return to normal levels within a few days, which will reduce pressure at the service stations.