THE SCOTTISH Government has raised strong concerns that an inadequate number of the permits required to operate in the EU, if no other arrangements are agreed, have been allocated to Scottish haulage companies.

Holyrood Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson has written to the UK Government seeking long term assurances for Scottish hauliers in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Although the EU has proposed an alternative system that would allow the movement of goods until December 2019 if the UK Government puts reciprocal arrangements in place, this still leaves hauliers and major exporters unclear as to how they will operate in the EU in the long term.

Michael Matheson said: ‘The Scottish Government is clear that it is in Scotland’s best interest to remain in the EU, however as a responsible government we have to plan for all scenarios and that includes a no-deal Brexit which would have a damaging impact across our economy.

‘Scotland’s hauliers and their customers are extremely concerned. Scottish Ministers are being contacted by businesses, including major exporters, who have not been able to obtain a single permit and are worried about how they will be able to continue to do business in the EU.

‘In addition, no bilateral agreements have been signed with EU Member States, and no additional information has been publicly shared by the UK Government on whether these agreements can even be in place by 29 March.

‘Our hauliers are aware that the EU is taking action which would allow them to move goods in EU countries until December 2019, but that is providing that the UK reciprocates. The EU proposal has yet to be formally adopted leading to even more uncertainty.