A no-deal Brexit could put thousands of HGV drivers out of a job and leave millions without the food they have come to expect, the Road Haulage Association has warned.
The RHA has been stung by reports of MPs repeating the mantra: “No deal is better than a bad deal”.
“The stark reality is that if customs controls are put in place, it will take an average of about 45 minutes to process one truck on both sides of the channel. If that happens then the queues of HGVs in Kent will make the jams seen in the summer of 2015 appear as little more than waiting for the traffic lights to change,” said chief executive Richard Burnett.
Burnett pointed out that the Dover Strait currently handles 10,000 lorries a day and processing them through the port is currently seamless.
The RHA acknowledged that transport secretary Chris Grayling has said that the UK government would not have lorry checks at the port.
However, it is concerned that a no-deal Brexit might result in the French deciding to check lorries which would result in hauliers facing the prospect of coming to the UK and have to wait for says or even weeks before they could return home. “This will be a huge deterrent to them making the journey at all.”
50 per cent of food consumed in the UK’s comes from around the world – of which 70 per cent comes from the EU.
The RHA argues that a “Brexit without a deal will put thousands of HGV drivers out of a job and millions without the food they have come to expect. With just over 6 months to go until the UK leaves the EU, the time for political grandstanding is over. UK hauliers need practical solutions to resolve practical problems.”