UK hauliers face uncertain future in event of ‘no deal' Brexit – Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
A report published today by the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (Sub-Committee A) raises concern about the potential uncertainty created for UK hauliers in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.
The Committee has examined proposed regulations that make provision, amongst other things, for a “no deal” scenario by setting out the criteria to be applied where permits for UK hauliers conducting international haulage may be significantly oversubscribed – the worst case scenario set out in the accompanying Impact Assessment suggests there may be demand for up to 80,000 permits after Brexit with an allocation of only 1,224.
The Sub-Committee acknowledges that the Government's preferred approach is to reach an agreement with the EU. However, given the potentially detrimental impact on UK hauliers who may not be granted a permit post exit day, the Sub-Committee has drawn attention to these Regulations on the ground that creating such uncertainty in the context of “no deal” means the Regulations may “imperfectly achieve their policy objectives”.
Commenting, Lord Trefgarne, Chairman of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee said:
"We acknowledge that the Government seek to reach a deal with the European Union on international road haulage after exit day. However, without a deal, these Regulations risk serious uncertainty for UK hauliers as applications for a permit may well exceed supply.
“To avoid such uncertainty, the Government need to provide greater assurance about how they will deal with significant oversubscription to ensure UK operators do not experience a detrimental impact on their businesses.”
These draft Regulations are laid under the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act 2018 which was introduced to allow arrangements to be put in place to enable international road haulage to continue after the UK has left the EU. They create a framework for a single permits scheme that will deal with bilateral permit arrangements between the UK and non-EU countries, the multilateral European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit scheme and any future permit scheme that may be agreed with the EU.
While ECMT permits are currently undersubscribed, the Regulations make provision for a “no deal” scenario where permits may be very significantly oversubscribed (up to 80,000 for a UK allocation of 1,224) by setting out criteria for the allocation of permits.
These Regulations are subject to the affirmative scrutiny procedure. This means that they will be debated in, and must be approved by, each House before they can become law. Reports of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee draw to the attention of the House of Lords secondary legislation which is either of public policy interest or gives rise to concern, and inform the House's debate.