UK leaders add fuel to the fire when there’s none to spare


UK leaders add fuel to the fire when there’s none to spare

Critics of the government have been quick to blame Brexit for the fuel shortage, but it’s not that simple

Therese Raphael

It’s not a good sign when government ministers shout on Twitter: “THERE IS NO FUEL SHORTAGE.” That’s like telling people: “Do not imagine an elephant.”

In this case, not much is left to the imagination. The UK is panicking about fuel. Up to 90% of pumps in major British cities have reportedly run dry, and the British army is on standby to drive trucks to transport petrol. The country’s competition law (which protects consumers from predatory high prices) has been suspended so that fuel deliveries can be coordinated to meet demand, and the government is in talks to keep the country’s second biggest oil refinery from collapse.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing his biggest competence test since Brexit and Covid. Passing it will require more than the short-term fixes being mooted so far...

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