Grant Shapps says he doesn’t want to ‘undercut’ British workers
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A TORY peer has hit back at a Twitter account which blamed fuel shortages and political uncertainty on Brexit. Lord Moylan responded to the post with scorn for linking Brexit to current problems of petrol supplies and spaces on supermarket shelves.
He replied: “There’s a certain sort of Remoaner who can’t stand the fact that we are transitioning to a full-employment economy that shows signs of paying people properly.”
He was responding to a tweet which by John Cosgrove, with the screen-name @johncosgrove405, had said: “Empty supermarket shelves, queues for petrol, crops rotting unpicked, staff shortages in care homes and hospitality, no US trade deal, exports to Europe down, NI once again an issue…
“We had a country that worked and we deliberately broke it. I could weep.”
This follows a weekend of panic buying and fuel shortages in forecourts all across the country.
Most recently, the Government has agreed to suspend competition law, meaning that oil companies will deliver fuel to any petrol station with no supplies, according to the BBC.
Long queues had been a common feature in many parts of the UK this weekend as drivers descended on those forecourts with operational pumps.
Images circulated on social media of some drivers filling up jerry cans as well as their vehicles when their turn at a petrol station came.
The Petrol Retailers Association has warned that up to two-thirds of almost 5,500 independent fuel outlets are out of supplies, say the BBC.
This has left the rest of them “partly dry and running out soon.”
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, explained the decision to remove competition law from the oil industry.
He said: “While there has always been and continues to be plenty of fuel at refineries and terminals, we are aware that there have been some issues with supply chains.
“This is why we will enact the Downstream Oil Protocol to ensure industry can share vital information and work together more effectively to ensure disruption is minimised.
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“We thank HGV drivers and all forecourt staff for their tireless work during this period.”
A shortage of around 100,000 HGV drivers has led to disruption in transporting fuel from refineries to forecourts since last week.
The Government decided to offer temporary visas for 5,000 HGV drivers from abroad, lasting until 24 December 2021.
However, the British Retail Consortium told the BBC that this number was “too small” to prepare for the Christmas period.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We don’t want to be relying on overseas labour in the longer run, which is why this is limited to Christmas.”
“We’ve got to sort out these long-term problems with our HGV sector.”
He added: “I’m afraid the thing which has sparked this particular rush on the petrol stations is some fairly irresponsible briefing from one of the road haulage associations.”
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