"Huge" chance of chaos in Kent and Essex after Brexit

Published: 10 September 2020

"Huge" chance of chaos in Kent and Essex after Brexit

A haulage industry leader has warned that there is a huge chance of chaos in the Essex and Kent area when the brexit transition period ends.

The CEO of the RHA Richard Burnett predicted the above over concerns of several sections of the preparations for the export of goods by the UK Government.

He said “The devil is in the details, and some of the fundamental things that need to change and some of the things that need to be invested in are simply not happening fast enough.”

Mr Burnett continued: “In terms of my gut feeling as we stand here today with 81 days to go with the amount of work that we’ve got to undertake, (the likelihood of) chaos in Kent (is) 80/20.

“Because if businesses try to dispatch because they haven’t got customs agents to do the paperwork, then the chances are they’re going to still want to trade, they’re still going to want to drive volume there, If we’re not ready then the likelihood is we will have chaos”

The head of the RHA accused ministers of having a self belief in their own thoughts and ideologies and assuming that everything will just be ‘OK’.

He continued: “My fear at this stage is there will be significant disruption, potentially, at the year-end.”

It seems that the UK had nowhere near the amount of customs staff to deal with the anticipated and expected increase in declarations following the brexit transition period when it ends on December 31st.

The CEO continued: “It can take six to 12 months just to familiarise yourself, but probably three years to really understand how the process works end to end”

“We’ve got 81 working days between now and the end of the year, to be able to recruit the number of agents that are required.

“The intelligence that’s coming back from the industry is that there is a denial, there’s an apathy, there’s a real sense that the Government is not getting the message.”

There are upwards of 8 different logistical organisations that requested an urgent meeting with the government over the border preparations, they made this request formal by writing to Cabinet Office Minister Michel Gove to highlight their worries that the UK-EU supply chain “will be severely disrupted” if issues are not resolved before the transition period ends.7

They await his response.

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