A week of political upheaval for the UK

As you have most likely seen this week, the events at Westminster have been turbulent and fast developing. There have been mass walkouts and resignations within the Conservative party due to the scandal surrounding the, now resigned, Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher. This has led to Boris Johnson announcing his resignation on Thursday, which will come into effect when his successor is appointed. This follows a prolonged build-up of tension within the party after the Partygate scandal and a failed vote of no confidence aimed at the former Prime Minister.

In last week’s blog, we wrote that we could possibly see Chancellor Rishi Sunak be pressured into further lowering the fuel duty to help motorists and households alike. A hope which now acts as an indicator of how much the political landscape has changed over the past week.
Rishi Sunak was amongst the ever-growing resignations and a new Chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, has now been appointed. With a massive portion of the cabinet having to be replaced, it seems unlikely that the fuel levy will be looked at any time soon. However, it will be interesting to see how the new Chancellor reacts to the current challenges and see if this shows any indication of what future decisions he may make.

Meanwhile, the wholesale price of oil has continued to drop and, as of the time of writing, currently sits at $104 per barrel. Still, customers are not seeing this reflected at the pumps, which have reached £2 per litre in various locations around the country. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that the UK now has the most expensive fuel of any of Europe’s five largest economies.
This could be due to how low the value of the pound is currently, as the UK heads into a likely recession. Customers have become angry with retailers, as they are not seeing the drop in prices that are shown in the wholesale market.

As a result, there were protests across England and Wales this week, with protesters jamming motorways by creating rolling roadblocks with their vehicles. These protests will likely continue for as long as the price of diesel rises or stays high, leaving everyone with more expensive energy bills, transport costs, and a generally inflated cost of living. Hopefully, the continued drop in the wholesale oil barrel price will be soon reflected in pump prices, which would give customers a welcome relief.


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