The International Road Transport Union (IRU) and 31 transport business groups and road transport associations, including the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), from across Europe call on European Union and UK negotiators to reach a Brexit deal, for the sake of the consumers and the economy.
In an open letter to Michel Barnier and David Frost co-ordinated by the IRU, the signatories of the letter have called on both parties to reach a deal which protects the ongoing movement of heavy goods vehicles between the EU and UK, as well as allowing transit through their respective territories without the introduction of haulage permits and quota systems. A free trade agreement between the two sides would protect the supply chain and support economies right across the EU as every year, more than 2.3 million trucks travel to and from the UK and EU.
“Commercial road transport has heavily suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an annual loss for operators revenue in the EU in 2020 estimated at €64 billion for goods transport. Additional costs occurred by the absence of a UK-EU agreement at the end of the year would be another uppercut for businesses and should be avoided by all means.” said Raluca Marian, IRU General Delegate to the EU. IRHA President Eugene Drennan said “we are looking down the barrel of Chaos, serious talking needs to happen”
Without a free trade agreement, the European and UK operators would face a patchwork of fragmented national arrangements, with higher costs, slower journey times and potential disruption to supplies for all customers.
“The European and UK road haulage industry is calling on negotiators to come to an agreement on the future relationship. Transparency is needed regarding the new operational environment in order to allow the industry sufficient time to prepare for new circumstances” concluded Raluca Marian.
Time is of the essence.