Brexit is NOT the cause of the UK fuel crisis
What a fake message that Brexit has caused Britain a fuel crisis! Either the leading German media are actually lying press of the worst proportions, or at least one should never again speak of quality journalism in connection with them. Rather, the very same problem can hit the EU member states very quickly.
There is no shortage of fuel in the UK, only a shortage of truck drivers, as in almost all European countries. In any case, the UK obtains comparably little oil from the EU at all. Unlike most EU countries, the UK produces a significant amount of oil and gas, most of which is consumed domestically. After Russia and Norway, the UK remains the third-largest crude oil producer in Europe. However, in the UK, as elsewhere, far more truck drivers are retiring than entering the profession.
The deficit is exacerbated by the fact that the authority that is licensing new drivers (DVLA) is behind schedule with driver tests and, not the least, the not so insignificant closure of driving schools due to corona measures, which led to 25,000 fewer truck drivers passing their exams in 2020, compared to 2019. In addition, many non-British drivers, although entitled to visas and work permits also after Brexit, went back to their home countries during the lockdown. According to Morgan Schondelmeier from the Adam Smith Institute in London, most of these – around 20,000 – left the country as early as 2020, which is why it is unrealistic to assume a connection with the shortage in the autumn of 2021.
Minister triggered panic buying
According to analyses, there is now a shortage of 120,000 truck drivers even in Poland; therefore, it is not because of Brexit that fewer Polish drivers are available in the UK labour market compared to earlier years. In addition, many older drivers have not renewed their permits for the transport of dangerous goods – this is also known in EU member states. A homemade error by the UK government may be a change in tax rules that make it more difficult for drivers to be self-employed. But also, in this respect, the bureaucracy juggernaut in Brussels can hardly serve as a role model.
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Likewise, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps was arguably very rash to alert people on television that they shouldn't worry about a fuel shortage. Although he was fundamentally correct, he provoked precisely the opposite and triggered panic buying. After the people have supplied themselves with fuel, however, the situation should calm down again. As with many other goods, the primary delivery problem remains unsolved, of course: Only Brussels is probably more of a cause than a solution.
You don't need Brussels to solve the problem
Dougie Rankine – editor of the British "Truck and Driver" magazine – told Al Jazeera that the claim of a driver shortage due to Brexit is a gross simplification of the situation.
The confirmation by the President of the Irish Road Haulage Association, Eugene Drennan, that Ireland, still a member of the EU, encounters similar problems, despite having more local drivers serves as proof of this. Interestingly, Martin Kammer of the Regional Association of the Transport Industry in Thuringia also believes that there could be long-term delivery bottlenecks if Germany relies entirely on Eastern European drivers. In general, the solution will be to improve working conditions, appropriate payment and a more positive presentation of the professional image. However, this does not require any heteronomy from Brussels!
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