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The British government announced on Sunday evening that it was temporarily lifting competition rules for the fuel industry as thousands of gas stations across the country ran dry.

The measure aims to enable the industry “to more easily share information so that it can more easily prioritize the delivery of fuel to the regions of the country and strategic locations that need it most”, A declaration government and major industry players, including Shell, ExxonMobil and the UK Petroleum Industry Association, said.

“Although there has always been and still is a lot of fuel in refineries and terminals, we are aware that there have been problems with supply chains,” the secretary said. Business, Kwasi Kwarteng.

“That is why we will adopt the downstream petroleum protocol to ensure that the industry can share vital information and work together more effectively to ensure that disruptions are minimized,” he added.

The move comes after the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents nearly 5,500 independent outlets, said on Sunday that about two-thirds of its members said they had run out of fuel, the rest being “partly dry and soon to be depleted. “.

Association president Brian Madderson said the shortages were the result of “outright panic buying.”

“There is a lot of fuel in this country, but it is not in the right place for motorists,” he told the BBC.

Cars could be seen lining up on a busy road at a gas station in Islington, north London, on Sunday evening, as passers-by heard drivers yelling and cursing at each other.

The road transport industry says the UK is short of tens of thousands of truckers, due to a perfect storm of factors including the coronavirus pandemic, an aging workforce and an exodus of foreign workers to following Britain’s departure from the European Union last year.

The government said on Saturday it would issue 5,000 short-term visas to foreign truck drivers in the run-up to Christmas to address supply chain issues. He also announced a plan to rapidly train 4,000 people in truck driving, which will see examiners from the armed forces deployed to test them as quickly as possible.

British media also reported on Monday that the government may also deploy the military to deliver fuel across the country.

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euronews Gt