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European truck drivers could enter Britain without a permit in the event of a chaotic no-deal Brexit according to a proposal introduced to the British government on Tuesday. Britain hopes Brussels would show similar flexibility in return, as Reuters reports about the recent negotiations on Brexit.

Over 80% of haulage between the UK and continental Europe is undertaken by EU hauliers and it is important to ensure that the UK’s supply chains are protected. The UK needs to be sure that foreign products can be imported and UK products exported as usual – explains Jesse Norman, the Minister of State for Transport.

According to the minister, the British government will continue to license UK hauliers to the same high safety, environmental and operating standards as at present, and will require foreign hauliers operating in this country to do the same. The legislation also provides for continued access to the UK market, after exit, for hauliers from the 27 EU member states.

The European Commission has proposed legislation that would allow UK hauliers fundamental rights to conduct operations to, from and through the EU for a limited period of 9 months after 29 March  –  if there is no deal. The Commission’s proposal will need to be agreed by the Council and European Parliament and is being considered by both institutions urgently.

Huge risks of no-deal Brexit

If the British Government fails to reach an agreement with Brussels on hauliers, customs and other operations of import and export before March, long queues of trucks and chaos are expected on the British borders. Reason? A massive increase in the number of formalities and customs controls, informs The Guardian.

Researchers at Imperial College London estimate that only two additional minutes of waiting at the border can triple existing truck lines in ports, which could lead to 29 miles (about 47 km) long tailbacks on Kent motorways.
Delays lasting only half an hour in British ports and on the Irish border would bankrupt every tenth British company if the trucks were to wait for crossing the border from 1 to 3 hours, as many as 14 per cent of companies could expect bankruptcyDelays from 12 to 24 hours would prevent the further functioning of up to 15 per cent of enterprises– according to a survey of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).
The authors of the report warn against a serious threat to the economy in the absence of the Brexit agreement, which is becoming more and more likely. Theresa May, Prime Minister of Great Britain, did not get support for her Brexit plan from European leaders and admitted that there was a deadlock.

There are only 7 weeks to go until Brexit.

Photo: Pixabay

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