Following receipt of a letter from Michael Gove MP on 22 September detailing the UK government’s ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ planning, the RHA remains extremely sceptical about the UK government’s readiness for the end of the Brexit transition period.
The letter and accompanying attachment says that between 30-50% of trucks crossing the Channel won’t be ready for the new regulations coming into force on 1 January, 2021, while a lack of capacity to hold unready trucks at French ports could reduce the flow of traffic across the Dover Strait to 60-80% of normal levels.
“We already know this,” said RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett. “It’s what we’ve been saying for many months. We know that traders and haulage operators will face new customs controls and processes and we know that if they haven’t completed the right paperwork their goods will be stopped when entering the EU.”
Mr Burnett continued, “Mr Gove stresses that it’s essential that traders act now to get ready for the new formalities. We know for a fact that they are only too keen to be ready but how on earth can they prepare when there is still no clarity as to what they need to do? Traders need 50,000 more customs intermediaries to handle the mountain of new paperwork after transition but government support to recruit and train those extra people is woefully inadequate, particularly as firms are trying to recover from COVID-19.”
“For years we’ve been warning government that there will be delays at ports but with 70 working days to go until the end of the transition period they’re still not engaging with us to come up with the solutions.”
“The answers to the questions that we raised in our letter to Mr Gove and subsequent roundtable meeting last Thursday still remain unanswered; and for the industry on which the entire nation depends for maintaining the flow of goods across borders, the future looks very bleak indeed.”
You can read the full letter from Michael Gove here.
Photo: Richard Burnett