There is a level of uncertainty in the air when it comes to all things Brexit. Whilst the government are pushing ahead with the details of the potential deal there is no guarantee that this will be approved.
Likewise, the EU have recently published their guidance for a no deal situation. This included the news that they would maintain the movement of goods between the UK and EU until the end of 2019, reducing the need for additional permits for drivers in 2019 if the UK were to leave without a deal.
Whilst this is positive news there are other concerns including HGV driver recruitment, an ongoing issue within the transport and cargo industry.
How will Brexit affect the haulage industry?
The uncertainty of Brexit and how it’ll affect all industries will no doubt affect HGV drivers, however, there are specific elements which will certainly affect how the haulage industry operates post-Brexit. This includes:
• An end to the free movement of people
• A potential increase in the number of customs checks causing delays and slowdowns
• The potential for drivers to require additional licences and CPC checks
• A no deal could put restrictions on the movement of goods between the UK and EU countries meaning additional permits such as the ECMT be required
How will Brexit impact HGV drivers and driver recruitment?
The HGV haulage industry is already suffering an acute shortage of drivers. This could be further exacerbated by the outcome of Brexit. There is particular concern amongst industry bodies such as the RHA and the FTA of the impact that a no deal Brexit could have on the transport and cargo industry.
Uncertainty of Post-Brexit Employee Rights
Many EU workers employed as HGV drivers or in the haulage industry in the UK are choosing to leave and go back to their home countries or other EU countries to work. This is thought, amongst other reasons, to be due to the level of uncertainty around their rights once Brexit is finalised.
Whilst the UK government have stated that any EU citizens currently living in the UK will be able to remain with their current rights this is still up in the air until a deal is either completed or the UK leaves without a deal.
How Brexit Affects the Value of the Pound
Another knock-on impact of Brexit is that the value of the pound has dropped influencing HGV driver recruitment.
With a drop in the value of the Pound, wages seem less appealing to drivers and potential drivers due to the drop when converted back to the currency of their home country. This is making it:
• Harder to recruit new drivers from the EU
• Harder to maintain EU drivers already working in the UK
Brexit Immigration policies
As with all things Brexit, this is not yet defined but if we see the end of the free movement of people between the UK and EU countries then access will need to be defined in another way.
Current discussion is around immigration policies being set on an income-based criterion. The government are proposing a minimum £30,000 salary level be consulted on.
However, the RHA fear this may impede the haulage industry’s ability to recruit HGV drivers from the EU.
Brexit and the HGV driver shortage are two of the key concerns to the transport and cargo industry at this current time and they unfortunately don’t seem to be two issues that are going to be easily resolved.
At such a time of uncertainty it is more important than ever to ensure that you have all of your insurance needs up to date and to ensure that you are getting the best value for money.
Here at Anthony Jones, our team of experts can work hard on your behalf to fully understand your business and your transport and cargo insurance needs.