After Theresa May’s historic defeat in Parliament over her Brexit deal on Tuesday 15th January, the political pundits, media and MPs are all discussing the likelihood of a ‘no-deal’. But, what urgent measures does the UK haulage industry have to take?
With increasing pressure levied at the government, Mrs May has now invited all parties to come together to seek a workable solution to ensure she delivers on the nation’s wishes to exit the EU. However, at the time of writing, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to take part in discussions unless the threat of a no-deal is removed from the talks.
On 19th December the European Commission published a no-deal contingency action plan which includes a proposal which would allow UK hauliers to continue to carry goods into the EU. However, The FTA is urging commercial vehicle operators to apply for international road haulage permits by Friday 18 January, as this is the day that the application process will close. The FTA are warning that a no-deal is looking increasingly, so hauliers should take urgent action.
It is important to note that only haulage companies that deliver within the EU will need the International Driving Permit (costing £5.50 per driver).
The ECMT permit solution
The FTA has stated that “commercial vehicle operators will need ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) permits to transport goods to the European Union (EU) and EEA (European Economic Area) if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019.”
Unfortunately, it has been widely reported that the number of ECMT permits available are limited, with some suggesting there are only around 5% of the total required. The permits are to be allocated based on a number of different criteria including what product is carried, the vehicle’s emissions levels, and the proportion of haulage that is international.
The Department for Transport have recognised that using this criteria could see the permits allocated to only the larger firms, so have introduced extra measures whereby permits will be “allocated to a larger number of operators who have also scored highly on the other criteria,” which would include “a weighted random element to the scoring of applications”.
Uncertainty it seems, still remains as the only certainty grabbing the daily political headlines, but what are your views? Are you heading the FTA’s advice and applying for the ECMT now? Do you think we are heading for a 'no-deal' Brexit, and what impact do you think it will have on you?
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