UK Government suspends competition laws to tackle fuel shortages

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has activated the Downstream Oil Protocol following the recent supply chain issues at petrol stations and consumers panic-buying fuel

The Big Zero report

The UK Government has temporarily suspended competition laws to ensure the fuel industry can optimise supply and allow fuel suppliers to share information and co-ordinate their response to the shortages.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng activated the Downstream Oil Protocol after meeting with senior executives from the fuel industry following the recent supply chain issues at petrol stations in some areas of the UK and consumers panic-buying fuel.

The exemption from the Competition Act 1998 will make it easier for industry to share information so they can more easily prioritise the delivery of fuel to the parts of the country and strategic locations that are most in need.

It will also allow government to work with fuel producers, suppliers, hauliers and retailers to ensure disruption is minimised as far as possible.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We have  long-standing  contingency plans in place to work with industry so that fuel supplies can be maintained and deliveries can still be made in the event of a serious disruption.

“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 industry can share vital information and work together more effectively to ensure disruption is minimised.

“We thank HGV drivers and all forecourt staff for their tireless work during this period.”

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