With just weeks to go until the UK's withdrawal from the European Union on 31 October 2019, the European Commission has issued another paper on its preparations for Brexit.

Available at ec.europa.eu, this includes a proposal to the European Parliament and the 27 other Member States to make “targeted technical adjustments” to the duration of the EU's ‘no-deal' contingency measures in the area of transport.

It is suggesting that Regulation (EU) 2019/501, which aims to ensure basic road freight and road passenger connectivity, should be maintained in force until 31 July 2020.

This move would give UK logistics operators welcome breathing space as they continue their Brexit preparations, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said.

However, it went on, the proposal only providing extended access to the EU transport market for an additional seven months, and yet to be adopted into law, operators undertaking business planning for the year ahead still face uncertainty as they look to secure the stability of the UK’s supply chain.

FTA’s Head of European Policy, Pauline Bastidon, said: “It is undeniable that the new agreements will help maintain trading relationships in the short term and are better than no agreement at all, but they do not provide a long-term, sustainable solution for road haulage and aviation between the UK and EU.”

Furthermore, she emphasised, the new EU measures will not protect the current operating levels of UK businesses, many of which will find their access to European markets constrained, even with the new accessibility agreements.

This is especially true for road haulage, Ms Bastidon added.

Note that these proposals still have to go through the European legal process. It could be some weeks before they are confirmed.

Last reviewed 5 September 2019