To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department made of the potential implications for his policies for the domestic road haulage sector of the combined effect of the UK leaving the EU and the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.
The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) allows EU hauliers to continue to operate to, from, through and within the UK without the need for permits. The TCA ensures that the vast majority of journeys will continue as they did before the end of the transition period. The Agreement also entirely respects the UK’s right to decide for ourselves how we regulate the domestic transport sector since domestic transport standards are out of scope of the Agreement.
On the impact of Covid-19 on the domestic haulage market, Covid-19 necessitated a suspension in commercial driver testing, pausing supply of domestic talent, but the DVSA have now restarted and ramped up testing to address the backlog. This shortage of HGV drivers is longstanding and predates the UK’s decision to leave the EU.