The Prime Minister today chaired a meeting of the COBRA Committee on fuel contingencies.
The Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the COBRA Committee this afternoon on fuel contingencies. The meeting re-iterated that this is an industrial dispute and that there is no justification for a strike. Unite and employers need to work together to reach an agreement that will avert the irresponsible industrial action that threatens the nation with economic and social disruption.
No one wants a strike and no date has been set for one, however, the Government does have to prepare for the possibility that there will be a strike. Our main concern is to minimise disruption to the public. The Government has learnt lessons from the past and stands ready to act to manage the impact of any strike, in particular, to our emergency and essential services.
COBRA discussed the range of contingency plans that the Government has been preparing in the event of a strike, aimed at getting supplies through to emergency and essential services and to build a level of resilience in the system for businesses and motorists. It also looked to further measures to strengthen the resilience of the fuel supply including by increasing the potential number of military drivers and by maximising the levels of fuel storage capacity outside of depots.
Ministers also agreed that motorists should continue to take sensible precautions to prepare for the impacts of a possible strike. There is no need to queue for petrol, but in the normal course of business, motorists should consider keeping their tanks topped up. But there is no shortage of fuel at present and forecourts are being replenished.