UK haulage industry – no deal, no jobs, no food

Published: 01 August 2018

UK haulage industry – no deal, no jobs, no food
On Tuesday 24 July, MPs in the House of Commons often repeated ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ while discussing the terms of Brexit.

However, where those of the RHA (Road Haulage Association) are concerned, which now consists of over 7000 members, this could prove to be problematic for the haulage industry. The RHA’s members represent almost 50% of the UK’s 496,000 HGV drivers, as well as the UK haulage industry as a whole, while Brexit talks continue, they explain that the concept of a Brexit without a trade deal could be a catastrophe for UK trade as a whole.  

No-deal could cause chaos for drivers on an international scale, whether they are based in the UK or Europe: trade over all would be significantly impacted by the result of the UK leaving the EU.

The RHA has been campaigning for the government to get the best deal possible ever since it was revealed the public voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. Stating that it is vital for businesses of Europe and the UK that the current system remains in place assuring that there is no friction between borders.

It would make the movement of lorries much more difficult and a much longer process. If no deal is agreed by both parties, the impact on firms would be severe.

Speaking on the RHA’s behalf, chief Executive Richard Burnett stated: “The Dover Strait handles 10,000 lorries each day and processing them through the port is currently seamless.

“The stark reality is that if customs controls are put in place, it will take an average of about 45 minutes to process one truck on both sides of the channel. If that happens then the queues of HGVs in Kent will make the jams seen in the summer of 2015 appear as little more than waiting for the traffic lights to change.”

Earlier this year Transport Secretary Chris Grayling also spoke on the matter: “We will maintain a free-flowing border at Dover, we will not impose checks at the port, it is utterly unrealistic to do so. We don't check lorries now, we're not going to be checking lorries in the future. I’m clear that it cannot happen.”

The whole procedure could make the process of going across the channel much more tedious, as the wait to return home from a delivery could be days. Which will significantly damage trade overall. 50% of food consumed in the UK is imported from across the globe (70% of this from the European market).

Not only in customs does this raise concern, HGVs will now need permits to move internationally. This could mean that if many drivers will need to sub-contract work if their vehicles do not meet the standards required for a permit. EU operators will be using ECMT permits.

British firms currently trading internationally could face concerns for their business due to the delays in the process of crossing borders, which will damage the supply chain and could damage company profits. Many goods currently taken for granted (such as oranges from Spain) will cost much more to be imported.

British hauliers that make international journeys will be forced out of business, causing irreparable damage to the supply chain. The foods we take for granted, oranges from Spain for example will become an expensive luxury.

The RHA have expressed that the time for political debates is over, the government need to take action on Brexit and tell the public what their plan actually is and how it could have an impact on sectors such as trade and logistics.
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