UK: Supply crisis puts pressure on Johnson

UK: Supply crisis puts pressure on Johnson

Status: 04.10.2021 12:57 pm

Although the military is now supplying petrol stations, the fuel crisis in the UK will continue – much to the chagrin of the industry. Prime Minister Johnson said these were the woes of the new post-Brexit economy.

By Gabi Biesinger, ARD-Studio London

When it comes to supply bottlenecks and fuel shortages, the UK government is happy to point out that not only are there 100,000 truck drivers short in Britain, but there are similar problems and impacts in other European countries.

Gabi Biesinger
ARD-Studio London

But that’s just wrong, BBC presenter Andrew Marr told Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his programme: “We have spoken with the gas station associations in France, Poland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. No EU country has problems like us, not even Northern Ireland. Why are they here?’ That has to do with the special requirement, Johnson tried to talk his way out of it.

“These are not panic buying”

This accusation by the government, which continues to accuse the media of creating panic with its coverage and encouraging hamster purchases at gas stations, has enraged gas station owner David Charmon.

His service station in West Malling in Kent received only half the usual amount of fuel last week. And although soldiers had already supplied fuel to his gas pumps as exercise this weekend, his tanks were empty again. “These are not panic buying. People have waited a long time and simply have run out of fuel to get to work,” he said.

He and his associates often have to push cars in line to the gas station because they are empty. In recent months, his business has just come around. “Due to the lack of truck drivers, we were unable to keep the usual stock in our tanks for two days and when the situation turned around, the situation quickly became very critical.”

Meat industry complains about emergency slaughter

As of today, military personnel have also been deployed to help with the fuel supply. The situation is also critical in other sectors. There are still supply problems in supermarkets. The meat industry warned that tens of thousands of pigs would have to be culled and burned in the coming weeks because they could not be transported to slaughterhouses and there was also a lack of workers and butchers.

“We have never seen an emergency slaughter of healthy animals on this scale. This is a disaster, the farmers want to provide the land with food and meet high standards. A solution must be found quickly,” says Minette Batters of agricultural union NFU.

Government wants to raise wages

Prime Minister Johnson could only say that animals are being killed in the food industry. For certain sectors, the government is now planning to issue temporary work visas to EU workers. However, Johnson rejected a general easing of tightened immigration policies after Brexit: they don’t want to let low-paid workers back into the country unchecked.

Instead, they want to raise wages and rebuild the British economy. “We’ve had stagnant wages for ten years. People want to earn more to improve their standard of living. That’s exactly what they’ve chosen with Brexit,” said former economy minister Andrea Leadsome on the sidelines of the Conservative party conference in Manchester. Wages would now rise and companies would invest. “That’s good and will create new jobs.”

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