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Soldiers Could Be Drafted In To Help Ease UK Fuel Shortages

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Soldiers Could Be Drafted In To Help Ease UK Fuel Shortages

Soldiers could be drafted in to help out by delivering petrol to empty fuel stations, if reports within the government are to be believed.

A source told The Telegraph that the government is considering drafting in the army in order to get petrol out to empty filling stations as huge queues are seen up and down the UK because of a shortage of HGV drivers.

However, if Boris Johnson signs off on 'Operation Escalin' today, soldiers will help drive 80 fuel tankers to various stations around the country.

The plans would see 'several hundred soldiers' operate the HGV lorries in order to get the fuel out to where it needs to be.

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But, even if they're given the green light it could be up to 10 days later that action is taken, meaning that the petrol crisis that has seen British people rushing to panic buy fuel could last for more than a week.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The source said that the plans were under 'active consideration'. It is likely that the Prime Minister would make available the government's reserve fleet of petrol tankers to help out the situation.

However, the decision has yet to be taken, and Downing Street has remained tight-lipped on proceedings, whereas the Ministry of Defence has confirmed that no official approach has been made to them.

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The plans were reportedly formed at a crisis meeting between several senior ministers including Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng, Cabinet Office Minister Stephen Barclay, and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Competition laws have also been suspended by Kwarteng's office, meaning that fuel suppliers can work together to help out the struggling stations.

The move - which is known as the Downstream Oil Protocol - was taken to 'ensure the industry can share vital information and work together more effectively to ensure disruption is minimised.'

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents most of the fuelling stations in the UK, estimates that 90 percent of the stations in the UK are currently dry.

A source told The Times: "We are hoping that this will settle down because after a while people can't store petrol in any meaningful way once their car is full.

"There's no issue with the supply itself; it's a question of getting it to the pumps. But it's better to act now and stand up the army rather than wait until later. It's a no brainer."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, army, Politics, Cars

Tom Wood
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