UK body, The Road Haulage Association (RHA) says it is “still in the dark” surrounding future border arrangements following the UK’s exit from the European Union next March.

“Today, with only 156 days until the Brexit deadline becomes reality, we are still in the dark regarding the essential details,” said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett.

“To maintain the supply chain between the UK, across the Irish border and mainland Europe, it is imperative businesses can plan. This has not happened.

“The border is not ready and plans to make Kent motorways into, what are in effect glorified lorry parks are simply not enough. And government’s claim any increase in the number of checks will be kept to a minimum fills us with no confidence at all.

“We need clarity and we need it now. Time has run out. Such is the nature of today’s haulage industry that plans need to be made well in advance to ensure the smooth running of logistics operations – particularly those making the just-in-time deliveries on which the manufacturing industries on the other side of the Channel rely.”

The UK’s National Audit Office notes if there is no withdrawal agreement, the government has recognised the border will be ‘less than optimal.’

“We agree with this assessment and it may take some time for a fully functioning border to be put in place,” added the Nao. “Individuals and businesses will feel the impact of a sub-optimal border to varying degrees.

“The government is putting in place coping responses where it can. How effective they will be remains to be seen.”