RHA – there will be friction at a hard Brexit border

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has been left ‘astonished’ by claims from the ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis that there won’t be border delays at Dover or Calais after a hard Brexit.

The RHA’s position on Brexit is that there should be a transition period of at least 18 months, regardless of whether there is a deal so there will be a guarantee of frictionless borders as well as the efficient operation of the UK’s supply chains.

However, in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Davis said that claims of “food shortages were nonsense”. When asked about delays at the French border he added: “The port authority says that’s not going to happen. There have been a lot of scare stories.”

The RHA argues that Davis showed “an extraordinary lack of understanding of the issue”.

Chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The French authorities have never suggested a border go-slow and assurances to that effect by both President Macron and local authority leaders in Calais to Theresa May miss the key point.

“There will be delays at borders as a result of new customs checks – there are neither the staff nor the systems in place to make it a smooth process.

“Any customs border check will rapidly create very long queues and massive disruption to the supply chain.

“We simply can’t see how the customs process will work. Considering our constant dialogue with government on behalf of the UK haulage industry, we’re at a total loss to understand these latest comments.”