Hauliers “astonished” at David Davis Brexit claims

Hauliers “astonished” at David Davis Brexit claims

The Road Haulage Association has rubbished claims made today by former Brexit secretary David Davis that there won’t be border delays at Dover–Calais, even if there’s a no-deal Brexit. 

Commenting on today's BBC Radio 4 Today programme Mr Davis, who quit his cabinet position in July, said that claims of food shortages were “nonsense". Mr Davis said there were hundreds of plans ready should the UK leave the EU without a deal. There might be "some hiccups" but the UK was "a big country" and "we can look after ourselves".

When asked about delays at the French border, he added: “The port authority says that’s not going to happen. There have been a lot of scare stories.”

The RHA said that Mr Davis is showing an extraordinary lack of understanding of the issue.  

RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: "The French authorities have never suggested a border go-slow and assurances to that effect by both President Macron and local authority leaders in Calais to Theresa May miss the key point. 

"There will be delays at borders as a result of new customs checks – there are neither the staff nor the systems in place to make it a smooth process.

"Any customs border check will rapidly create very long queues and massive disruption to the supply chain.

"We simply can't see how the customs process will work. Considering our constant dialogue with Government on behalf of the UK haulage industry, we're at a total loss to understand these latest comments."

The RHA is calling for a transition period of at least 18 months – deal or no-deal – to ensure the continuation of our current frictionless borders and the efficient operation of the UK supply chain.