Fuel crisis: Government expected to mobilise army ‘as a precaution’ amid fuel crisis | UK News

Fuel crisis: Government expected to mobilise army ‘as a precaution’ amid fuel crisis | UK News

The government is expected to mobilise the army as a precaution amid the ongoing queues at petrol stations around the country, according to a Whitehall source.

Petrol retailers had been hoping for a return to normal after motorists drained pumps over the weekend.

But there was little sign of the panic-buying diminishing on Monday, with consumers apparently ignoring pleas to stop.

Earlier a joint statement from BP, Shell UK, Esso Petroleum/ExxonMobil, Wincanton, Certas Energy UK, Hoyer Petrolog UK, Greenergy, Fuels Transport & Logistics, Downstream Fuel and Suckling Transport urged drivers to buy fuel as they normally would.

They said: “There is plenty of fuel at UK refineries and terminals, and as an industry we are working closely with the government to help ensure fuel is available to be delivered to stations across the country.

“As many cars are now holding more fuel than usual, we expect that demand will return to its normal levels in the coming days, easing pressures on fuel station forecourts. We would encourage everyone to buy fuel as they usually would.

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Who is to blame for the fuel shortage?

“We remain enormously grateful to all forecourt staff and HGV drivers for working tirelessly to maintain supplies during this time.”

The panic buying has led to industries from taxi drivers to the meat processing sector – and even non-league football – facing difficulties and prompted calls for healthcare workers to be given priority access to fuel.

The British Medical Association said there was a real risk that some would not be able to get to work.

And Unison called on ministers to use emergency powers to “designate fuel stations for the sole use of key workers” – and call backed by the Royal College of Nursing.

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The Government has told people across the country to not panic buy petrol but are they listening?

“The Government has to take control. It’s no good ministers wasting time on a pointless blame game or pretending there’s no problem,” Unison’s general secretary Christina McAnea.

“Essential staff must be able to get to their jobs so they can continue to provide the services so many rely upon.”

But the Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA), representing two-thirds of all UK forecourts, said that with many drivers’ tanks now full after the weekend it was watching for an “easing of demand”.

The crisis mushroomed after the disclosure last week that a few petrol stations had seen supply disrupted, due to the nationwide shortage of HGV drivers, prompting widespread panic-buying.

It was still in evidence for a fourth day on Monday, with roads gridlocked as motorists queued for more than an hour in some cases, with lines of cars trailing out of forecourts onto the public highway.

Some petrol retailers – Asda and EG group – have been restricting fuel sales to £30 a time.

Even if the buying frenzy does abate, motorists face a further headache as the price of Brent crude on international oil markets continued to climb, reaching a three-year high of just under $80 a barrel – likely to result in higher prices at the pumps to come.

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