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British haulage bosses have issued warnings to the Government regarding possible actions of the EU post-Brexit. Richard Burnett, the Chief Executive of Road Haulage Association, told Parliament’s Transport Committee that European hauliers had threatened to cut off trade with the UK after 2020. He said that this could lead to major disruptions in supply chains.
Mr Burnett told the committee: “If the EU withdraw capital then we should be doing exactly the same with EU hauliers.
“That creates an impact on the market to start with.
“If an EU haulier while they’re over here can’t backload internal loads to get them back to their port of exit, it means that they’re not going to come.
“At the moment we’re seeing more and more European hauliers holding back.”
He continued: “They’re suggesting that they may not even trade or even come to the UK from January 1.
“I guess that depends on the potential impact of chaos in terms of business processed, backloads, availability and queues.
“But that’s going to be a growing challenge for the market.
“And if we don’t strike the right deal in terms of being able to get the right access.”
The haulage chief added: “Through the COVID pandemic, for instance, when we had a shortage of drivers in Italy and Spain, we had to send UK vehicles to go pick more volume up to bring it back.
“If we don’t strike the right deal then that’s going to be a risk to our supply chain.
“That’s in terms of actually bringing volume in if EU hauliers do stand and decide not to come.”
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Haulage bosses had called for an “urgent” meeting with Cabinet ministers and wrote to Michael Gove in September.
They warned that gaps in Brexit preparations risked causing severe disruptions to the supply lines at the UK’s borders when the transition period ended.
Eight organisations, including the Road Haulage Association and Logistics UK, said the supply chain will be seriously impacted if concerns such as a lack of funds to train customs officials aren’t addressed before December 31.
The Government assured that it had plans to ensure the country is ready for the changes.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also said he was prepared to meet haulage industry representatives to talk about the issue.
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