The Government has published proposals aimed at ensuring that road haulage legislation will continue to operate effectively in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Setting out the plans in a written statement to Parliament, Transport Minister Jesse Norman said that existing licence requirements on safety, environmental and operating standards for UK hauliers will be maintained.

He also made it clear that the legislation provides for continued access to the post-Brexit UK market for hauliers from the remaining 27 EU Member States.

With more than 80% of haulage between the UK and continental Europe being undertaken by EU hauliers, Mr Norman explained, it is important to ensure that the UK’s supply chains are protected.

By offering non-UK operators access at this stage, he went on, the Government aims both to provide the reassurance needed for international freight flows to continue and also to help ensure reciprocal arrangements for UK hauliers.

The draft legislation includes provisions to suspend EU hauliers’ rights to undertake cabotage operations in the UK. The Government is reserving the right to implement those provisions in the event of the EU not adopting what the UK deems to be acceptable reciprocal measures allowing UK hauliers to conduct operations to, from and through the EU.

In his statement, Mr Norman also pointed out that British operators have been applying for European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits, of which the UK has been allocated just 984 annual and 2832 short-term permits for 2019.

“Overall,” his statement concludes, “we continue to believe that reciprocal market access will be secured for UK hauliers. While continuing to plan for all eventualities, we also believe that it is right to underline the fact that the UK is taking a positive and pragmatic approach.”

The statutory instrument to which Mr Norman refers in his statement has not yet been published but will be added to the Croner-i Legislation Tracker as soon as it is available.

Last reviewed 11 February 2019