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FOLLOWING days of panic buying at fuel stations the government is to suspend competition law to allow oil firms to target fuel deliveries to make it easier for companies to share information and prioritise parts of the country most at need.

Ministers are also considering deploying the Army to deliver fuel as the Petrol Retailers Association has warned that as many as two-thirds of its membership of nearly 5,500 independent outlets are out of fuel.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the government had “long-standing” contingency plans to maintain fuel supplies and relaxed the competition law when the pandemic hit in March 2020 to help supermarkets work together to maintain food supplies.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson told the BBC the shortages were down to “panic buying, pure and simple”, with oil companies prioritising keeping motorway service station pumps topped up.

The government has also announced it would offer temporary visas, lasting until Christmas Eve, to 5,000 foreign fuel tanker and food lorry drivers and 5,500 poultry workers in a bid to limit disruption in the build up to Christmas.

Analysis of Google search data reveals that online searches for electric cars in the UK exploded 1,600% on the 24th of September, the day when the petrol station fuel shortages became a widespread phenomenon across the country.

Car information website revealed that online interest for electric cars skyrocketed to 16 times the average volume in one day, an unprecedented spike in interest for electric cars.


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