Thursday, October 1, 2020

Brexit Exchange in House of Commons Asks More Questions than Ever

When Will Promised Government Systems be Operational?
Shipping News Feature

UK – In a quite remarkable exchange in the House of Commons this afternoon, in response to a question from Labour party MP Hilary Benn, Michael Gove referred to the Road Haulage Association (RHA) as 'perhaps not the most constructive partner' in the current Brexit negotiations.

During the exchange Mr Benn asked the Minister for the Cabinet Office as to the readiness of the government’s systems relevant to the transport of freight after the UK departs the EU, namely the goods vehicle movement service and SmartFreight.

Unfortunately Mr Gove, as it seems is his wont, avoided responding in any material way, simply replying that the government is having discussions with the RHA and others to ensure the systems are in place.

As we have pointed out many times before there is a distinct lack of clarity from the government, and Mr Gove in particular, when talking round this subject. Mr Gove says the RHA are unconstructive yet the meeting scheduled last month to clarify the readiness of systems took place with a battery of transport interests, none of which were impressed by the answers given.

Initially the authorities blamed ‘misplaced terminology’ as to the state of preparedness of the systems, now it seems it has abandoned the pretence of all being well and has chosen to ignore the question and throw out insults at the professionals as a smokescreen for its own ineptitude.

The entire exchange can be seen via this link and we obliged to Joe Mayes and Twitter for providing it.

Photo: Mr Benn, no doubt frustrated by the lack of response to his questions.