Brexit could damage UK food supplies because customs problems could cripple supply chains, the Road Haulage Association has claimed. The association added that unless the government negotiates the right customs controls during Brexit talks, the food supply chain could be severely impacted.
The RHA fears big lorry queues at ports, with staff without enough experience while “fresh food supplies rot,” following Brexit.
“Nearly 30 per cent of all food consumed in the UK comes from the EU and it all arrives in lorries,” said Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive. “At the moment, the process is seamless – it’s as easy to deliver from Milan to Manchester as it is from Manchester to Leeds as far as customs processes are concerned.
“After Brexit, that will no longer be the case, and we have to get the new processes right. Otherwise the system for getting food into the country could grind to a halt. ”
Richard Burnett concluded: “The RHA welcomes the government’s commitment to cross-border trade being as frictionless as possible. But customs process for containers and air freight will not work for the millions of trucks that move through Dover and our ports.
“There are nearly 4.5 million journeys between the UK and Europe each year that are HMRC-free at the moment. These trucks carry jobs, components, products – and 30 per cent of our food.”