Business, Freight News

Transport faces Brexit ‘quagmire’ warns MP

[ November 28, 2016   //   ]

Chairman of the All Party Group on Freight Transport and Stoke-on-Trent South MP, Rob Flello has cautioned against bundling up all EU legislation in a single ‘Great Repeal Bill’ could risk the transport industry getting bogged down for years to come.
Speaking in a debate on Exiting the EU and Transport, he warned that the plan “to deal with everything in one big bill and then gently work our way through all the laws that will need changing is really not practicable,” he said. “If every MP puts forward even three amendments to the bill because of the issues they think are most crucial it will take weeks and months to debate.”
He said that the industry “could face a regulatory nightmare. For example, new EU law arising from the Ports Service Directive, currently under consideration, would be seriously harmful to the UK’s privately-owned facilities if it wasn’t removed quickly by the Great Repeal Bill.
Leaving the EU would mean an end to UK participation in the Open Skies negotiations between the EU and US and could mean a return to the last bipartisan deal, the 1946-vintage Bermuda II agreement.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is already under-resourced and bereft of serious powers relating to non-UK vehicles – a situation which, without better financial and statutory support will only get worse after Brexit, warned Flello.
He is also concdrned about the ability of the Department of Transport to cope with the sheer volume of work needed to accept or replace existing EU legislation.
He argued that the government might be better off identifying elements of EU law where there is broad agreement that they are not needed once the UK leaves the EU and jettison those, rather than initially adopting them only to take years to repeal them afterwards
He added: “It would be helpful if the bill was seen not as a repeal bill but one to domesticate those laws which are to be kept as quickly as possible. If we don’t do that, our most important industry could be left in a legislative limbo for years to come and the effects could be catastrophic for British competitiveness.”

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