The Road Haulage Association is concerned that Government’s Brexit White Paper giving proposals for a future relationship between the UK and the EU is just that – a proposal. It has not been agreed and there is no certainty that every aspect will be adopted.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “We are deeply concerned that the White Paper doesn’t address the movement of HGVs. In addition, we have no certainty over future permit arrangements. The RHA’s position remains that some form of mutual recognition of UK and EU operator licences is the best way forward.”
However, the RHA welcomes the proposal for a type of Association Agreement with the EU. “This is long overdue and should have been put on the table a year ago,” he said.
Richard Burnett wants the Government to establish if confirmation of the transition period can be agreed in advance of the confirmation of the withdrawal agreement. If agreed, the initial move on customs will result in border arrangements that will work well for supply chains, avoiding costly customs and other additional controls on movements between the UK and the EU.
As regards the issue of labour, the White Paper does no more than suggest a framework to manage the movement of people. The RHA still believes that the industry needs to be able recruit drivers and other skilled people from the EU after the UK leaves the union.
Concluding, Mr Burnett said: “With just over eight months until we leave the EU there is still a tremendous amount of uncertainty and negotiations need to be progressed urgently. Enough time has been wasted – we simply can’t afford to waste any more”.