THE fuel ‘crisis’ and shortage of HGV drivers dominated the newspaper comment sections.

The Daily Mail

Stephen Glover said some sages were promising a winter of discontent but claimed they didn’t know what they were talking about.

“I can remember the original 1978-79 Winter of Discontent — public-sector strikes, rubbish piling up in the streets, gravediggers downing their shovels,” he said. “What have we now? Some panic-buying of petrol which, as Grant Shapps pointed out, is a ‘manufactured’ crisis. The only real shortage is one of common sense.”

He said anti-Brexiteers in business and the media were doing their utmost to blame our troubles on our leaving the EU.

“The country faces two main short-term problems. One is the soaring wholesale price of gas, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit. The other is the relative scarcity of lorry drivers, also experienced by several EU countries. Brexit is certainly one cause but there are many others, and it is childish to try to blame everything on it.”

The Daily Express

A lorry driver wrote that there were several reasons for the current fuel crisis - Brexit, working conditions, legislation, Covid and the DVLA.

“This is a bigger deep rooted problem than most think. All in the industry have known this was coming for years,” they said. “We have lost a lot of drivers in the industry as conditions and treatment have got markedly worse. Places we deliver and collect from treat drivers disgustingly at times.”

They said HGV drivers are skilled workers but on average earned the same as a shelf stacker in supermarkets.

To solve the issue, new rules are needed over waiting times, pay needs to be increased, and people need to stop panic buying. “There is no shortage of fuel and we will still be able to get fuel.”

The Independent

Sean O’Grady said getting the army behind the wheel will be a lot quicker than trying to get retired tanker drivers back to work.

“It’ll take even longer to persuade EU workers to hop over for a few months, because they’ll still need to get a visa and find somewhere to live,” he said . “We no longer have freedom of movement, after all.

“Fundamentally, then, it’s obviously a shortage of labour in certain occupations.

“The supply of new entrants to the labour market is very small without immigration. The answer is to relax the rules on immigration, and not just from the EU, and make use of those so desperate to come and live in Britain.”