Government 'has much to do' to prepare transport sector for Brexit, says report
The Department for Transport (DfT) "still has much to do" as it prepares contingency measures for a no deal Brexit, Whitehall's spending watchdog has warned.
The New European is an award-winning national newspaper campaigning against Brexit. If you find this article informative, please share it and also consider supporting our journalism by subscribing.
Further work is required to develop schemes such as managing traffic flow at Dover and issuing international driving permits, the National Audit Office (NAO) found.
Government advice is for all departments to have fully planned contingencies in place in the event of the UK withdrawing from the EU in March 2019 without an agreement.
The NAO concluded that the DfT has made a "determined effort" to address the "significant and complex challenge" of Brexit.
But it warned that the department "still has much to do" and there is an increasing risk that projects would not be delivered on time.
You may also want to watch:
Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: "These are extraordinary times for the civil service and government.
"The department has achieved a great deal in its preparations but over the coming months it will, like many other departments, need to scramble to prepare for the UK's EU exit, particularly if we are faced with a no deal scenario."
- 1 Leave EU website suspended after EU registry blocks move to Ireland
- 2 The greatest failure of government in our lifetime
- 3 Comedian wins praise after shaming No 10 during Dancing on Ice appearance
- 4 Television drama to focus on Boris Johnson's first year in Downing Street
- 5 Boris Johnson claims Labour supporters using Universal Credit vote to incite hatred
- 6 The bigot we should have called out on day one
- 7 Progressive alliance could see Labour win 351 seats at next election, new analysis reveals
- 8 The polling that signals the plight of the Union
- 9 Boris Johnson blames seafood companies for post-Brexit sales slump
- 10 Dominic Raab 'not convinced' collapse of fishing businesses would be result of Brexit deal
The NAO noted that plans are still being finalised for Project Brock, a Highways England scheme to deal with lorry queues on roads to Dover for cross-Channel journeys.
This will need to be ready by March when the UK leaves the EU, the watchdog said. The DfT told the NAO it is confident the project would be delivered on time.
The NAO said there was no detailed plan or business case for issuing international driving permits to UK motorists.
These may be needed to drive legally in the EU if no agreement is reached on mutual recognition of existing driving licences.
The DfT believes up to seven million permits could be requested in the first 12 months after Brexit.
The NAO also found that the DfT and the Department for Exiting the EU were measuring progress differently, with the DfT making a more cautious assessment on its work.
A government spokesman said: "The NAO concludes that the department is making a determined effort to ensure the UK transport system is fully prepared for EU exit and acknowledges that the department has already achieved a great deal.
"We have prioritised preparation for EU exit and royal assent of the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill will be a significant step in this process."
The Bill deals with a post-Brexit lorry licensing system in the event of a no deal Brexit.
The spokesman added: "Our work is part of wider government preparations to ensure the UK can deliver a smooth and orderly Brexit, as we move from our current membership of the EU to our future partnership."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.