U.K. Takes Emergency Steps as Forecourts Run Dry

The U.K. government took emergency measures late Sunday to try to ease acute fuel shortages across the country, as gasoline retailers shut pumps after days of panic buying.

The government is to suspend competition law to allow oil firms to target fuel deliveries at petrol stations following recent panic buying.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had already caved in to industry demands to issue 5,000 short-term visas to truck drivers, while newspapers reported Monday that he may draft in the army to help. The risk is that a prolonged fuel crisis will damage the post-pandemic recovery, putting more strain on already stretched supply lines.

Some members of Petrol Retailers Association are reporting 90% of sites have run dry: SkyBP Plc says it has run out of fuel at a third of its stations
Across Europe, drivers who are “plagued by exploitation” have been leaving the industry as multinational companies drive down costs, Atema said. But the situation is particularly acute in the U.K. because there is no collective agreement for the whole road transport industry, he said.
London Mayor Says Emergency Services Have Fuel, Key Workers Struggling (8:56 a.m.)London Mayor Sadiq Khan said his office is working with the Department of Transport to try to find ways of securing fuel supplies for key workers.

The Petrol Retailers Association, representing service stations in the U.K., said some of its members in England have all but run out of fuel.

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