UK: Gas stations closed due to Brexit and delivery issues over pandemic

Petrol stations operated by BP and its US rival ExxonMobil have closed in the UK due to fuel shortages amid delivery problems in the country due to a shortage of truck drivers.

Oil giant BP said on Thursday that “a small number” of its gas stations in Britain were “temporarily closed due to a shortage of unleaded fuel and diesel.”

In a statement obtained by AFP, the group acknowledged “suffering from gasoline supply problems in some sales sites in the United Kingdom” caused by “delivery delays due to a lack of truck drivers across the UK”.

Brexit and pandemic issues

For its part, US giant ExxonMobil, which owns Esso stations, said that a “small number” of its 200 stations in Tesco supermarkets were also affected by the problem, according to the PA agency.

These supply problems are in particular due to the pandemic, which prompted many truck drivers to return to their countries, while training centers for new drivers remained closed for months.

Also, the arrival of new drivers from the EU is compounded by Brexit, with more complicated immigration formalities.

“Buy fuel as usual”

BP says it is working to address these difficulties and is “prioritizing service stations on highways, major highways and destinations with the highest demand.”

To avoid panic at gas stations, the British government is trying to make sure there is “no shortage of fuel in the UK” and by calling on people to “buy fuel as usual”.

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“We understand the difficulties faced by the (logistics) sector and have taken measures to increase the availability of truck drivers by facilitating procedures for new drivers and increasing the number of driving license tests,” a government spokesperson said.

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