Brexit – How will it impact the transport industry?
What are the impacts on the road transport industry, after Britain exit the European Union?. With many in the industry worrying about what the future holds we decided to address the issues and answer the question everyone wants to know the answer to….how will our exit from the EU affect us.
Many of the rules that govern transport in the EU are in fact derived from a long standing regulatory that were in place before we entered. The best example in terms of the road transport industry would be the operator’s license and traffic commissioners. Even though leaving the EU would be setting aside all the legislation that currently apply to us, many of these regulations have been made law in the UK by separate UK parliament legislation.
These legislation would not be set aside automatically after the two year exit period from the EU. So realistically it will be at least 2018 until anything substantially changes. Looking at a few of the specific issues that affect transport by membership of the EU, we can make a reasonable assessment of how Brexit will impact those areas of regulation.
Licensing of operators and the Public Passenger Vehicle Act are both pieces of UK legislation that will not be lost. There may be subtle changes but the principle of the legislation will remain unchanged in the medium term (5 years) and most likely a lot longer.
Driver CPC obligations are also very unlikely to change, this is because, although the regulations were created by the EU, the UK is a signatory of the European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport (AETR) which contains driver CPC obligations. The UK is expected the stay a signatory to this with a number of other non EU countries.
The rules regarding tachographs and drivers hours are governed by EU regulations and it appears they will no longer apply when we leave the EU. However due to the AETR these rules are incorporated and likely to continue to apply to both goods and passenger vehicle operations. The Transport Act 1968 incorporates all these rules and will not be repealed by exiting the EU. Driving licensing is also unlikely to change within the next 5 years. The system works and there wouldn’t appear to be any obvious reason to change it.
It is likely that there will be other dramatic changes to the transport sector in the medium to long term (5-20 years), not only due to the UK leaving the EU, but also because of the introduction of new systems of automation and transport such as electric vehicles and driverless trucks. The UK is not expected to dramatically de-regulate, even after the negotiation period, especially when it comes to road or personal safety.
The one single most important message that needs to be absorbed by the goods and passenger vehicle operators is that we are going to see a massive change in our relationship with the EU over the next 2-3 years. It is crucial that operators ensure that the government is made aware of the main issues in the transport sector, highlighting any economic impact on the UK economy if certain current rules are surrendered in the negotiation.
So to sum much basically what we are saying is nothing is going to change, certainly not in the short term. Any changes will happen over a period of 5-20 years + and many of the rules in force today will remain due to coming under separate regulations from those signed in the EU so there you have it folks, back to the day job. We still have legislation to adhere to.