Gasoline continues to be scarce in British distributors: and even if it is not a phenomenon exclusively linked to Brexit, the exit from the EU has made things worse. The government is thinking of military intervention and emergency visas for foreign workers
LONDON – File, nervousness, difficulty. Finding an open distributor in central London is practically impossible.
After the weekend queues, with queues of cars that blocked important junctions, gasoline in many places ran out.
On social media, news for motorists in crisis is chased: in Croydon there is an open distributor, we read, and so on, all in search of the golden fleece. There are those who leave at five in the morning, others in the middle of the night, only to arrive and find that a few minutes before the petrol ran out and the person in charge shakes his head, embittered. Sorry, No fuel.
For some, the announcement means that work will be impossible, that children will not be able to be accompanied to school, that elderly relatives who live far away will be forced to fend for themselves.
There are those who cannot stand up to stress and lose their temper. As in Chichester, where a fight broke out between motorists in line, or in a neighborhood in the north of the capital, where two men got punched out of nervousness.
The same problems occur in different parts of the country. According to the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents 5,500 independent distributors, dry pumps are between 50 and 90% of the total. Brian Madderson, president of the association, pointed out that petrol is there in the UK, but it is in the wrong place, not where it is needed.
The mainly logistical problem and the current crisis leads back to lack of truckers which has embarrassed supermarkets and chain stores. A few months ago, the transport associations had raised the alarm: about 100,000 truck drivers were missing.
If it is not a phenomenon due exclusively to the Brexit
, the divorce from the EU has certainly made the situation worse.
According to official data, European truck drivers have halved (from 40,000 to 20,000). Crossing the border with a freight truck means facing additional checks and forms to fill out, all of which affects the schedules and consequently the remuneration of individual truck drivers.
The exit from the EU also means that many casual workers have avoided moving to Great Britain: leaving, finding a room and starting work immediately is no longer possible.
The government is preparing the intervention of the army, a move that alleviates problems but will not provide a long-term solution. The armed forces have about two thousand truck drivers, a total insufficient to cope with the emergency.
As a second measure, the executive announced over the weekend that it will prepare a fast visa for 5,000 foreign truckers.
Meanwhile in many supermarkets there is no pasta, canned tomatoes and other groceries.