Boris Johnson Hits The Brexit Panic Buttons

Written by SK Ashby

Britain's growing fuel shortage is evidently far worse than originally reported with up to 90 percent of brands running out of gasoline in some locations according to Sky News.

Boris Johnson's government is now considering calling up the military to deliver petrol because the nation is facing shortage of up to 100,000 drivers, but even that is not foolproof.

From the BBC:

The Times suggests "hundreds" of soldiers could be put on notice to drive fuel tankers to forecourts "within days" if ministers decide to send the Army to help ease long queues at petrol stations.

But the Guardian believes the possible operation, first conceived during planning for a no-deal Brexit, could take up to three weeks to fully implement, while the Daily Telegraph highlights fears it could take too long to train the military drivers.

While Johnson's government considers what to do in the near term, they've also announced that 5,000 additional visas will be offered to drivers from the European mainland according to Bloomberg, but drivers understandably have no faith in the opportunity.

Stung by months of changing rules because of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, those in Poland and Hungary interviewed on Monday said they aren’t ready to help unless they’re offered a long-term plan to work in the country and more pay. Echoing comments from Germany, Britain was now having to learn the consequences of Brexit, they said.

“There’s much distrust now against working in the U.K., given that the country is giving ad-hoc answers to its imminent problems,” said Tivadar Arvay, spokesman for the Hungarian Road Transport Association, which has about 2,500 members. The concern is that drivers would be “left in the lurch” after their visa expires. “They shouldn’t fall for this,” he said.

Drivers were kicked out of the country for no discernable reason beyond xenophobia and it's easy to understand why they wouldn't rush back to Britain only to face the same fate again after the holidays are over. The temporary visas now being offered by the British government would expire after Christmas.

Offering visas to 5,000 drivers will only make a small dent in Britain's shortage of 100,000 drivers, but I suppose Johnson's government was trying to thread a needle between doing what needs to be done and appeasing hard liners who would actually rather see empty shelves than bring foreigners back into the country.

Britain should have never voted for the Brexit.