Some petrol stations have had to close in recent days because there are not enough qualified drivers to distribute fuel around the country. There have also been reports of empty supermarket shelves due to supply issues.
Britain’s farming and food processing industries, which are short of fruit-pickers and meat-packers, have made similar requests.
London resisted, saying British workers should be trained up to take the jobs. It has stressed that Britain is not short of fuel, but that has not stopped motorists forming lines at petrol stations to fill up just in case.
Then, late on Friday, the government said it was now “looking at temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems”.
Sporadic supply chains at supermarkets and other shops starting several weeks ago also were attributed to a lack of delivery drivers.
BP and Esso shut a handful of their stations in Britain this week because there were not enough truckers to get gas to the pumps. EG Group, which operates about 400 UK petrol stations, said it was limiting purchases to £30 ( €35).