Almost a year ago the British public decided to leave the EU, since then the Government still need to figure out what trade deals will be in place once Britain has left as well as how border control will be dealt with.
Many key players have stated they wouldn’t like to see the hard borders of the past return, but no further suggestions have been made.
Brexit minister David Davis spoke regarding a virtual border that would include a form of electronic monitoring. Meanwhile the EU chief negotiator Michael Barnier warned the government that they would also be putting extra security measures in place to ensure that the single market is protected.
The EU has also made border issues a pre-condition for talks on Brexit, with citizens rights and what exit charges will be demanded from the UK.
However, this week we did hear some detail about what we might expect once the UK leaves the rest of Europe.
Liam Irwin, Revenue Commissioner told a committee that EU law decides that many inspections would be needed with around 6-8% of freight being thoroughly searched. Paperwork management is one area they feel needs improvement with a small number of physical inspections to improve security.
“Trade facilitation posts” would be put in place for these checks, placed 10-15km from the rest of the border.
Unsurprisingly, the revealed information has given many concerns to members of the road haulage industry. Eight percent of journeys could represent 500 to 600 vehicles being inspected daily which would cause even more disruption for hauliers.
Detours and delays even for inspections can have a major impact on journey times, drivers also won’t be sure how long the inspection will take which can have an impact on their business’ trade.
Despite being named “trade facilitation posts” the goal will be to halt a significant amount of drivers with smuggled goods or refugees who sneak onto the back of vehicles. Many drivers are concerned this is an over precautious move and will just cause severe delays on the roads for truckers.
The plans are very worrying for drivers, but the EU have assured the public that plans are set down to ensure security and border control for nations dealing with trade on a global scale.