LIVE – Updated at 08:30
Panic-buying at petrol stations prompted some of the largest UK operators to ration fuel as the government was warned its U-turn on HGV driver visas will come too late to prevent disruption to Christmas.
BP shut 20 forecourts and limited supplies at up to 100 more, while Asda set a limit of £30 per customer due to “unprecedented demand and associated supply challenges”. Esso, Tesco and Shell stations were also affected.
The crisis has reportedly prompted Boris Johnson to give the go-ahead to temporarily lift visa restrictions for foreign drivers, although no decisions have yet been confirmed.
However government insiders have told The Independent it might already be too late to stop disruption to the Christmas holiday, after the retail industry claimed ministers had “10 days to save Christmas”.
Downing Street insisted UK has “ample fuel stocks in this country and the public should be reassured there are no shortages”.
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- U-turn on lorry driver visas ‘too late to avoid Christmas disruption’
‘There is no fuel shortage’
08:30 , Peter Stubley
Ministers have repeatedly attempted to dissuade the public from panic-buying, insisting that there were no shortages of petrol.
A Downing Street spokesman said last night: “We have ample fuel stocks in this country and the public should be reassured there are no shortages.
“But like countries around the world we are suffering from a temporary Covid-related shortage of drivers needed to move supplies around the country.
“We’re looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems, but any measures we introduce will be very strictly time-limited.
“We are moving to a high-wage, high-skilled economy and businesses will need to adapt with more investment in recruitment and training to provide long-term resilience.
There is no fuel shortage!!!
— James Cleverly🇬🇧 (@JamesCleverly) September 24, 2021
There is no fuel shortage.
THERE IS NO FUEL SHORTAGE!!
— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) September 24, 2021
Government U-turn on HGV driver visas ‘too late to avoid Christmas disruption’
08:23 , Peter Stubley
Scenes of panic-buying at petrol forecourts across the UK – on top of existing supply issues relating to the shortage of lorry drivers – have prompted the government to consider plans to ease visa requirements.
The move will reportedly allow up to 5,000 foreign lorry drivers into Britain on a short-term basis.
It came as the retail industry warned that ministers had just “10 days to save Christmas”.
However government insiders have told the Independent that the post-Brexit U-turn on visas has come too late to avoid disrupting Christmas.
Visa plan is too late to stop Christmas supply chaos, insiders warn
08:10 , Peter Stubley
Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the supply chain crisis which has seen some petrol stations across the country forced to close and fuel rationing at hundreds of forecourts.Internet Explorer Channel Network