Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Transport Industry, the UK and the EU

Its the morning of Friday the 24th of June, 2016 and the UK is waking up to the news that their membership in the European Union is no more, as a majority of British votes gets us out of the EU.

So what would this mean to the Transport Industry? Less red tape, freedom from European Rulings and the end of the dreaded Driver CPC courses? Or would it actually cause more problems than it prevents and place new uncertainty over the industry?

In practice what would it mean? A lot of the call for leaving the EU comes from preventing European Workers travelling over to the UK. This would surely put immense pressure on the industry that is already importing Eastern European Drivers in their 1000s to come over and plug the ever growing skills gap in Road Haulage. Now, it is likely that it will be only restrictions that are put in place, but this could still cause problems in efficiencies of plugging the skills gap.

What about Driver CPC then? Will we be rid of it completely? 'No' is the probable answer to that, as explained in this piece from Commercial Motor:

"Our transport regime is far more onerous than any other European Country... we are getting it right and its unfortunate other European countries are't as rigorous" 

and on the O Licence:

"EC Regulation 1071/2009 underpins the Standard O-Licence, but would the UK abandon its fundamentals and repeal the UK Legislation, e.g. shedding the need for formally qualified transport managers? There would surely be a continuation of a pretty similar model"

And how quickly does everything happen? At least two years, some estimate, as negotiations over agreements between EU and Non-EU countries take place. This could be a difficult and slow procedure that means the Laws regarding CPC, until 2019 at least, don't go anywhere. Especially as European countries are likely to want the same rules governing British Hauliers as govern their own.

There seems little doubt the exiting the EU remains popular amongst many hauliers, but ultimately it will require a lot of research from the individual businesses over this wide-ranging industry. I think we can safely say that there is likely to be a step backward in 'red tape' legislation, it is just a bureaucratic thing that government loves, it is likely that it will only be some tweaking. The skills-gap is where the real worry could lie for  the industry.

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