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Freight and Brexit inquiry launched

26 April 2018

The Transport Committee launches an inquiry to examine the potential effects of Brexit on UK freight operations and assess the preparatory steps operators, their customers and the Government need to take.

Inquiry background

Different businesses have different freight-related needs. For some, the timeliness of deliveries is crucial; for others, it's the cost of moving freight. The arrangements of perishable goods will be different from raw materials for manufacturing or parts for assembly, for example.

Road haulage, maritime and aviation sectors may need to take different steps to prepare for the effects and harness the opportunities, of Brexit. But there has been little published analysis of sector-specific freight needs.

The Transport Committee inquiry is offering freight operators and their diverse customers, the opportunity to specify these needs. Though the terms of reference are wide, the Committee hopes the sector will also be forthcoming about the issues involved.

Although UK and EU negotiators have now agreed a Brexit transitional period to run until December 2020, the pressure is on to determine just what is required - and what can be delivered in the time available - for the smooth operation of freight in the longer term.

Send us your views

The inquiry does not consider border and custom arrangements, trade deals or tariffs as these fall outside the Committee's remit, but looks at the steps required to prepare for the challenges and opportunities of Brexit for UK freight, particularly through investment in transport infrastructure and changes to transport policy and regulation.

The Committee is particularly interested to receive written evidence addressing the following:

  • the scale and nature of the challenges and opportunities Brexit presents to UK freight companies and their customers;
  • the adequacy of steps being taken by freight companies, their representatives bodies, their customers and the Government in preparation for the challenges and opportunities of Brexit;
  • mode and/or sector-specific requirements for additional Government funding, or other changes to Government funding plans, particularly in relation to transport infrastructure, to support the needs of freight; and
  • any new arrangements needed for the licencing, regulation and training of operators and workers in the freight sector after Brexit (including the adequacy of measures set out in the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill).

Submit your views through the Freight and Brexit inquiry page.

Deadline for written submissions is Friday 8 June 2018.

Chair's comment

Launching the inquiry, the Chair of the Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, commented:

"We've heard a lot about custom arrangements, border controls, tariffs and trade deals. But we haven't heard enough about transport infrastructure, policy and regulation implications affecting freight operators and their customers. But from day one after Brexit, we will expect our goods to turn up and for life to continue as normal.

While the agreement of a transitional period to December 2020 is welcome, there remains a great deal of uncertainty for UK freight operators and their customers. The implications of Brexit will vary across freight modes and types of freight. We want the sector to tell us what's worrying them. What is required to make this work?

We want to cast our evidence-gathering new as wide as possible, then focus on areas where government and industry actions will be most pressing, to prepare for both the challenges and opportunities of Brexit."

Further information

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