Lord Sugar: Concerns about fuel shortages ‘just tip of the iceberg’

Lord Alan Sugar has warned that continuing concerns about fuel shortages are “just the tip of the iceberg” and businesses will be further affected post-Brexit.

The Apprentice star claimed the shortage of HGV drivers and reports of long queues at the pumps in some parts of the country were the result of leaving the European Union.

He also criticised Michael Gove and Prime Minister Boris Johnson for telling what he described as “lies” in order to gain votes during the 2016 referendum.

Lorry driver shortage
Many filling stations have run dry in some parts of the country (Danny Lawson/PA)

He told the PA news agency: “It goes back to Brexit. It goes back to the lies that we were told by Gove and Johnson to convince the British to vote for Brexit. It has been camouflaged a bit with Covid and now it is hitting home. It is as simple as that. It is hitting home.”

Policing minister Kit Malthouse said on Friday there needed to be an “improvement” in the situation in the coming days and that Boris Johnson was ready to review matters if there was further deterioration.

Lord Sugar suggested that many foreign drivers had returned to their home countries following the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme at the end of June.

The 74-year-old Amstrad founder, originally from Hackney, east London, added: “They may have gone home because they were worried about catching Covid or something like that, or they may have misunderstood the meaning of Brexit, they may have not wanted to sign up in June.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg I am afraid. The full ramifications of that ridiculous move out of the European Union have yet to hit us.

“I can tell you that small businesses are suffering badly. I have got a series of small businesses. We are having to open up subsidiary companies in Europe, which costs money to do – we can afford to do it – in order for us to trade. But some of the smaller companies can’t do it.”

Lord Sugar is raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital through the sale of a novelty pen featuring his likeness, which repeats a number of catchphrases including: “I am much better than Donald Trump for sure.”

“Great Ormond Street has been one of my pet charities for 25 years or so and I have donated lots and lots of money to them,” he said.

Lord Sugar said it is a “very big charity and lately they are working on a project for a complete new cancer centre, which is going to cost a load of money, so they need a lot of help at the moment to help raise that money”.

More information is available at https://styltom.co.uk/products/sugarpens.

All £10 from the sale of each pen goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity.