Daily Management Review

UK Suspends Competition Law To Ensure Adequate Supply Of Fuel To Gas Stations


UK Suspends Competition Law To Ensure Adequate Supply Of Fuel To Gas Stations
Following a recent panic purchasing by customers in the United Kingdom, the government has announced it would be suspending competition rules to allow oil companies to better target gasoline delivery at gas stations that need the fuel.
Officials stated that the change will make things simpler for businesses to exchange information and target regions of the country in need.
It comes after days of lengthy lines at the pumps due to worries of a fuel supply interruption, which spurred panic purchasing.
Ministers are also thinking about sending the Army to supply gasoline.
The idea is being discussed and might be considered during a cabinet meeting on Monday.
The Petrol Retailers Association has issued a warning that up to two-thirds of its membership of over 5,500 independent stores are out of gasoline, with the remainder running low.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng stated that the government has "long-standing" contingency measures in place to ensure fuel supply while announcing the move to exclude the oil business from the Competition Act of 1998, 
"While there has always been and continues to be plenty of fuel at refineries and terminals, we are aware that there have been some issues with supply chains. This is why we will enact the Downstream Oil Protocol to ensure the industry can share vital information and work together more effectively to ensure disruption is minimized. We thank HGV drivers and all forecourt staff for their tireless work during this period."
In March 2020, the government also eased competition legislation in order to encourage retailers to collaborate in order to preserve food supply.
In recent months, a lack of lorry drivers has produced issues for a variety of businesses, ranging from supermarkets to fast food chains.
Certain gasoline supply has been disrupted in recent days, causing panic purchasing and long lines at some gas stations.
The sector, comprising Shell, ExxonMobile, and Greenergy, underlined in a joint statement that supply difficulties were caused by "temporary surges in customer demand - not a countrywide lack of gasoline."
In an effort to prevent disturbance in the run-up to Christmas, the government said on Saturday that it would grant 5,000 foreign fuel tanker and food lorry drivers, as well as 5,500 poultry workers, temporary visas valid until Christmas Eve.
Other initiatives include mailing almost one million letters to HGV drivers with the aim to persuade them to return to the profession as well as plans of training 4,000 individuals to become HGV drivers.
However, the British Retail Consortium stated that the number of visas being provided is "too tiny" to have an influence on the predicted Christmas disruption.
According to Andrew Opie, the trade association's head of food and sustainability policy, "I think we're going to see lesser variety, less availability, and perhaps a shorter shelf life as well, which is very sad since this could have been avoided."
Meanwhile, Kate Martin, a turkey farmer, has warned that stores may run out of fowl before Christmas.
She stated that fewer turkeys are being raised because the large processors "know they will not get them processed."
Additional short-term HGV drivers and poultry workers will be recruited in October, with visas good until Christmas Eve.