RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett has written to British MP, Michael Gove, handling part of Brexit negotiations, to call for an extension to the UK’s transition period for leaving the EU as political bandwith is completely consumed by the coronavirus crisis.

“As things stand right now, the coronavirus outbreak means we are simply not in a position to give the complexity of future trade arrangements with the EU the necessary focus,” said Burnett.

“We have always maintained a neutral stance as regards our relationship with the EU and this request is not trying to prolong the government’s plans – which we fully endorse.”

The UK’s road transport industry must be “completely focused” adds an RHA statement on supporting the unprecedented demand placed on the supply chain and ensuring the flow of critical goods – food and medical supplies – are maintained throughout the crisis.

“Preparing for our exit on 1 January, 2021 was always going to be a challenge for government, operators and stakeholders,” said Burnett.

“The current climate makes the ability to negotiate, agree and manage new trading arrangements impossible.”