The UK’s Road Haulage Association (RHA) has applauded its government’s flexible approach to post-transition border checks on goods imported from the EU as a means of helping businesses already struggling with the economic impact of Covid-19.
“Thank goodness they’ve listened to us,” said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett. “We wrote to Michael Gove at the beginning of the Covid crisis in March, saying that there needed to be a delay as businesses simply wouldn’t be ready. We stressed that there needed to be an implementation period for transition and I guess that’s exactly what this is going to be.”
But this is only one side of the story. Although welcoming the government’s sensible and pragmatic approach, the RHA said it’s vital that the EU takes the same approach.
Burnett continued: “At the moment our sense is that they’re stonewalling. They’re playing the same tactics as before and that means that we’ll have to prepare for a no-deal free trade agreement.
“We’ll also have to revisit plans such as Operation Brock to park trucks up in Kent, just in case we have to adhere to a complete customs process on the other side.
“The six-month relaxation, as we see it at the moment, will provide more time for businesses to prepare. The past few months have clearly shown that we have been able to maintain imports but the big issue is preparing UK businesses to be able to export.”