Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill [HL] - Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 17th April 2018.

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Photo of Earl Attlee Earl Attlee Conservative 4:00 pm, 17th April 2018

My Lords, once again the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, raises important points and I agree with them. That should be what the Government will negotiate for—equal access, reciprocity, et cetera—and I am sure that my noble friend the Minister will tell us that that is the case. However, once again, I would not like to see the Government tie their hands by agreeing to have the noble Lord’s amendment in the Bill, because it might be necessary to do something that does not quite meet the requirements of his amendment in order to achieve some other desirable outcome. I hope that he will reluctantly accept that point.

As to the amendment in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, I agree with the sentiment, particularly on the need to minimise the costs. I hope that if we did have to have this system, it would be just a technicality that a permit would be issued and the costs could be very low. Whatever we do, it must be on some form of cost-recovery basis where the international haulage industry pays for it, but there is the horrible prospect that, for some reason, the system that we will have to adopt is much more complicated and expensive to administer than the old Community licence system. The noble Baroness’s amendment says that the costs should not exceed that, which I suggest to my noble friend the Minister means it is not wise to accept that amendment. It will otherwise be impossible to recover the costs of operating the system. I entirely agree with the sentiment but I hope that my noble friend the Minister does not accept the noble Baroness’s amendment.