Permit legislation won’t save hauliers after a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, warns RHA

Permit legislation won’t save hauliers after a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, warns RHA

Contingency legislation for UK lorries to continue operating abroad won’t save hauliers from going bust if there’s a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the Road Haulage Association has warned.

The Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act, which received Royal Assent earlier this month, has established the legal framework for the regulation and enforcement of existing permit arrangements with EU countries after the UK leaves the EU – and is based on the UK’s existing permit arrangements with non-EU countries. 

The RHA is concerned however that the Act is not enough. It said the Government and EU need to strike a deal that maintains free access across borders.

RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “A no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for business. Relying on permits would be like a step back in time and would mean a very limited number of UK trucks working abroad, so many firms relying on cross-border haulage won’t survive.

“The government needs to ensure there’s uncapped access to EU states through a single European permit or bilateral agreements so UK hauliers can continue to move goods internationally.”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The haulage industry is at the heart of our trading relationship with the EU and we are confident that we will reach an agreement to maintain the current liberal access that is beneficial to both sides.

“But these powers give us the flexibility to have systems in place if a permit system is required and provides reassurance for hauliers to continue planning for a smooth EU exit.”