‘Heating or eating’ Russian and EU press take aim at Brexit Britain over petrol crisis

Tom Parker shares his thoughts on the UK's fuel crisis

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French and Italian newspapers also joined Russia in mocking the UK over the problems it is suffering from fuel supplies. Mocking the UK, Russian media sources compared the queues for fuel at petrol stations to those seen during the USSR era. While the UK is working to remedy the crisis, the Russian-state media station, NTV, said rising gas prices would mean Britons may freeze this winter.

A presenter on the pro-Kremlin TV station held up two UK newspapers, which claimed petrol had now run out in the UK.

The presenter said: “The queues for petrol pumps are like those for sausage that was in short supply in the Soviet Union.

“There is no petrol, there are only newspapers, which say that the petrol is all gone.

“Last week they wrote that the food had run out.

“I wonder what will run out next here?”

A fellow TV presenter in Moscow added: “Heating at home or food on the table — this is a choice that Britons may be facing in a month or two.”

Other Russian state media boasted over the violent scenes reported at some petrol stations.

The Vesti news programme said: “It turns out that in the United Kingdom everything now depends on the grace of nature, which, perhaps fortunately, the British cabinet has no influence over.”

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Capitalising on the crisis in the UK, French newspaper, Liberation claimed Britain had become reliant on overseas workers.

Indeed, the newspaper claimed hundreds of plumbers had now returned to France post-Brexit.

The paper mused: “Two years after Brexit, hundreds of thousands of drivers, farmworkers, waiters, plumbers and even doctors working in Britain with European passports have returned to their countries with no intention of returning.”

Joining the French newspaper, Italian publication Corriere della Sera, the leading paper in the country, said: “Great Britain is running on empty and the British are — unusually — completely panic-stricken.”

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Despite the boasting from foreign countries, the UK has claimed the crisis is now under control.

While many have been queuing at petrol stations across the country, chief secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke claimed the situation is now beginning to be resolved.

He said today: “That crisis is now absolutely something which is back under control.”

Mr Clarke also ruled out Brexit playing a major role in the delivery shortages.

Instead, he suggested a combination of Covid, Brexit and a backlog of prevented tests had been the cause of the issues.

Asked if the UK would be in a better position had it not left the EU, he said: “I really don’t accept that.”

“The idea that this is about Brexit is to try and take us back into what is really I’m afraid quite a negative conversation around opportunities foregone.

“If you look at the situation in Germany, if you look at the situation in Poland, if you look at the situation in France, they share these problems too.”

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