RHA dismisses EU allegations

Published: 04 May 2016

RHA dismisses EU allegations
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Following the information revealed last week regarding the EU’s action against the UK over the HGV levy, the RHA have responded to allegations from the EU commission, claiming that the HGV levy in no way violates EU laws. 

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA stated:
‘This challenge is nonsense. The levy breaks neither the letter nor spirit of EU law. Brussels was fully briefed during its design and implementation – and continental hauliers continue to pay the levy without complaint.  This is an important and successful measure that addresses an issue of real concern; to both the haulage industry and wider public. Foreign operators – now account for almost 90 percent of international trade – paid nothing at all to use our roads and the full burden of contributing towards road maintenance fell on UK-registered trucks. The levy changed that, within a framework designed by the EU itself. It is important to recognise that foreign and UK hauliers both pay the levy. Visiting hauliers pay around £40 million a year, still a modest sum and made up of a £10 per day charge for occasional visitors or a cost saving option of £1,000 a year for frequent visitors.’

He concluded stating: ‘Currently, the levy goes as far as EU law allows towards levelling the playing field and no further. The Commission should applaud the measure for making the haulage sector fairer, not attack it.  If it persists in its challenge I trust that the UK government will pursue a vigorous defence.’

The HGV levy was introduced 2 years ago to ‘Even the odds’ between national and foreign drivers, ensuring every trucker pays their way while trading within UK boundaries while the EU believe it is a form of discrimination among foreign drivers, charging more than necessary. The EU were also planning to keep the allegations hidden from the UK until after the referendum considering the impact it may have on voters on June 23rd. It was also revealed in the commission’s report that there had been ‘thorough analysis’ failing to mention any evidence. 

Richard Newbold, founder of Returnloads.net said: ‘The foreign HGV levy was designed to even the playing field. Haulage is a very competitive industry, not only company to company, but country to country. It’s a fact that hauliers from outside of the UK have lower costs and can therefore undercut UK hauliers for domestic jobs whilst they are over here this levy is intended to make things fairer so UK hauliers can still compete.. This is an example of the EU manipulating the laws to suit their own benefit and gain profit themselves from the industry.’

Meanwhile Hungary’s Supreme Court have approved a referendum for Fall after receiving allegations regarding their migrant policy. Hungarian politician Antal Rogan stated: ‘Not Brussels but only the Hungarian people may decide who they want to coexist with.’

It’s safe to say the EU is currently losing the popularity contest, not only in the UK, but on a global scale.
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