More than four years after the referendum, the UK will officially leave the EU at 23:00 tonight.
Truck drivers and operators are being braced for changes on a number of different fronts. Aside from increased journey times, there will also be more paperwork for many and new rules and regulations.
Logistics UK has written to the government to try and prevent a repeat of problems before Christmas at ports. In particular, the letter highlights the need to address the lack of provision of hygiene access and food provisions.
“That drivers should have to spend two days without adequate toilet facilities or hot food was a national embarrassment,” said Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at Logistics UK. “The need to rely on the generosity of the charities, businesses and local residents must not be repeated.”
She also highlighted the UK’s reliance on EU food supplies in the first few months on every year. “This lack of concern for driver welfare could impact on the willingness of EU hauliers to send their drivers to this country,” warned de Jong. “We want to protect the integrity of the supply chain.”
North of the border, hauliers are concerned about “teething problems” that are likely to occur from 1st January 2021.
Martin Reid, RHA’s director for Scotland, commented: “There’s going to be confusion and mistakes on January 1, but there will be a bedding-in period. Customs requirements will have to take place. That’s a massive administrative burden on the industry.”