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33 transport business groups and associations from across Europe have called on EU and UK negotiators to strike a free trade deal for the sake of the industry.

The International Road Transport Union, together with its 32 of its members, stress that more than 2.3 million trucks travel to and from the UK and EU every year. Therefore in order to provide a smooth supply chain, they will need to have easy access to and from the UK.

In an open letter to negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost, the 33 signatories called on both parties to reach a deal protecting the ongoing movement of heavy goods vehicles between the EU and UK, as well as transit through their respective territories without the introduction of haulage permits and quota systems.

Just days after the letter was published, the Confederation of British Industry then published survey results indicating that over three-quarters of UK businesses would prefer a trade agreement.

Commercial road transport has heavily suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the 2020 revenue loss for European goods transport operators estimated at EUR 64 billion. Additional costs incurred due to the absence of a UK-EU agreement at the end of the year would be another blow for businesses and should be avoided by any means,” said Raluca Marian, IRU General Delegate to the EU.

The IRU believe the lack of a free trade agreement would see European and UK operators face a patchwork of fragmented national arrangements, with higher costs, slower journey times and potential shortages for consumers. 

The European and UK road haulage industry is calling on negotiators to come to an agreement. 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” – the letter claims.

The signatories of the open letter are as follows:

  1. AEBTRI, Association of Bulgarian Enterprises for International Transport and Roads, Bulgaria
  2. AFTRI, French Association of Road Haulage & Passenger Transport, France
  3. AISÖ, Working Group of International Road Transport Companies, Austria
  4. AMÖ, Federal Association of Furniture Freight Forwarders and Logistics, Germany
  5. ANTRAM, National Association of Public Goods Road Transport, Portugal
  6. ASTIC, International Road Transport Association, Spain
  7. BGL, Federal Association of Freight Transport, Logistics and Disposal, Germany
  8. CESMAD BOHEMIA, Association of Road Enterprises & Passenger Transport, Czech Republic
  9. CESMAD SLOVAKIA, Association of Road Enterprises & Passenger Transport, Slovakia
  10. CETM, Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport, Spain
  11. CLC, Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce, Luxembourg
  12. DTL, Danish Transport and Logistics Association, Denmark
  13. ECG, The Association of European Vehicle Logistics, Belgium
  14. ERAA, Association of Estonian International Road Carriers, Estonia
  15. EVOFENEDEX, Netherlands
  16. FEBETRA, Belgian Royal Federation of Transporters and Logistics Service Providers, Belgium
  17. FIAP, Italian federation of professional hauliers, Italy
  18. FinMobility, representing Finnish employers’ and business organisations in the mobility sector, Finland
  19. FNTR, National Association of Road Transport, France
  20. ITD, Association of Danish road transport of goods, Denmark
  21. IRHA, Irish Road Haulage Association, Ireland
  22. IRU, World Road Transport Organisation, Switzerland
  23. LINAVA, The Lithuanian National Road Carriers’ Association, Lithuania
  24. Logistics UK, United Kingdom
  25. MKFE, Hungarian Road Transport Association, Hungary
  26. NLF, Norwegian Road Transport Association, Norway
  27. OFAE, Hellenic Federation of Road Transports, Greece
  28. RHA, Road Haulage Association, UK
  29. SVERIGES AKERIFÖRETAG, Swedish Association of Road Transport Companies, Sweden
  30. TLN, Transport and Logistics, Netherlands
  31. UICCIAA, Italian Union of Chambers of Commerce, Italy
  32. UNTRR, National Union of Road Transporters, Romania
  33. ZMPD, Association of Int

Photo credit @Wikimedia Commons

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