The Road Haulage Association has called on MPs to avoid the disaster of a cliff edge Brexit.
In a letter to MPs, RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett and national chairman, Andrew Howard, warned that business won’t be ready by 29 March and said that a transition period is essential to help industry adapt to new arrangements and regulations.
“An implementation period gives time for vital new processes and systems to be put in place across the supply chain such as efficient new border technology to avoid disastrous queues at Channel and North Sea ports and across the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.”
They blamed “complacent failure” across government departments for a lack of understanding of the vital role haulage plays in the economy and urged MPs not to believe reassurances that preparations are advanced and well developed.
Eleven thousand lorries cross the Channel each day; even a two-minute customs check would lead to a 20-mile traffic jam causing chaos on the roads and bottlenecks at ports.
“If preparations for customs and other border tasks were under control we would not be needing massive holding areas for lorries and would not need backup ferry services.”
The RHA has never taken a political view on Brexit but the Association’s board of directors is clear that a transition period is essential to avoid unparalleled damage to the supply chain.