Britain said on Thursday that the gas station crisis caused by a severe shortage of truck drivers was under control, but many pumps remained shut in London and motorists queued for hours to fill their tanks.
In a chaotic week where fighting broke out at gas stations and people refilling old water bottles with gasoline, British ministers have repeatedly said the crisis is easing, though they urged soldiers to start operating fuel tankers on Wednesday. ordered.
“This crisis is now completely under control,” Treasury Chief Secretary Simon Clark said.
Reuters journalists visited seven petrol pumps in and around London on Thursday. Two were open. A line of dozens of drivers retreated past one of the open stations, with staff attempting to direct the queue.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent retailers who account for nearly two-thirds of all 8,380 UK filling stations, said on Wednesday that 27% of members reported running out of fuel and This is expected to improve the situation further. next 24 hours.
The gas station crisis has led senior politicians in some other European capitals to suggest that the truck shortage was a clear result of the 2016 referendum decision to leave the European Union.
British ministers have repeatedly denied that Brexit played a role, though thousands of EU trucks moved during the Brexit maelstrom, and cited the COVID lockdown that halted thousands of truck tests.
Asked if Britain would have been in a better position had it not left a single market, Clarke said, “I really don’t approve of it.”
“The idea that it’s about Brexit, to try and take us back which is really what I’m afraid is going to be a lot of negative conversations around opportunities,” he said.
“If you look at the situation in Germany, if you look at the situation in Poland, if you look at the situation in France, they share these problems as well,” he said.
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