Following recent meetings between new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU leaders before the G7, the spectre of a “no-deal” Brexit is looming larger on the horizon.
Brexit is a massive challenge for the road freight transport and logistics industry who today work closely with British and Irish markets. Due to persistent political uncertainty about a potential Brexit outcome, the industry has been kept in limbo. Clarity from the UK Government and the European Union is required and urgently needed.
One of the biggest concerns in the Brexit file is a “no-deal” situation, which would be unacceptable for IRU and the road transport and logistics industry. This would be the worst possible outcome as this would restore a number of transport and trade barriers which the EU Single Market ended. The EU and UK must avoid such an outcome and should increase efforts to come to an acceptable agreement on withdrawal which opens the door for negotiations about a future EU-UK relationship.
One of IRU’s priorities is to help mitigate the risk by providing as much reliable information as possible to the road transport industry but the current political context makes it very difficult.
Matthias Maedge, leading IRU’s work in the EU commented “IRU calls on the UK Government as well as on the EU to step up their provision of reliable information available to road transport and logistics companies established in the EU and UK on what they should prepare for in case of “no-deal”. The road transport sector requires more clarity and certainty such as an adequate transition period in case of a “no-deal”. The 31/12/2019 is no longer good enough and a period of at least 12 months would be needed, preferably equal for all transport modes.”
IRU will continue to monitor the situation as it develops over the coming weeks, with a view to assessing in more detail the specific areas of clarity needed from the relevant UK and EU authorities to support the road transport sector in making this transition.