Boris Johnson is looking set for a tasty feast of humble pie as he attempts to attract European HGV drivers back to the UK before Christmas.
With a severe lack of fuel and supplies causing disruption across the UK, the Prime Minister is trying to make an attractive offer to persuade drivers to head back onto UK roads in the run up to Christmas.
Sadly for Boris, a lot of drivers still hold the raw memories of being trapped at Manston on Christmas Day 2020 as they were unable to cross back into France. There are many photos and stories online showing the thousands of vehicles that were stranded last year and had to rely on generous donations when they spent Christmas Day in their cabs.
The biggest sticking point to the PM’s new plan is that the UK is to ask EU drivers that have settled into Continental jobs to come to the UK to drive for a few weeks, then throw them out on Christmas eve. That is not a good move based on previous experiences and one that appears doomed to failure.
I don’t think thousands of European lorry drivers will come rushing back to Britain
The Governments other plan is to turn to the army for help delivering petrol and diesel. This may be a short term solution but it is not going to ease the crisis for all supplies. Supermarket and retail shelves and becoming empty and it is going to take a long, concerted effort to get things back on track.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has agreed to temporarily exempt the oil industry from the Competition Act 1991, so that competing oil companies can share which areas have run out of petrol and need to be prioritised for supplies. Officials said the measure will make it easier for industry to share information so that they can prioritise the delivery of fuel to the parts of the country and strategic locations that are most in need.
It would seem that whatever happens, the UK is set for a winter of discontent to some extent. It may not be as bad as it was many years ago, but this story is going to rumble on for some time, just like a HGVs engine ticking over at the border!