There is a real risk that the Department for Transport (the Department) will not be ready in the event of the UK departing the EU without a negotiated deal, and this risk is increasing as time runs out to deliver what is needed. This is our latest report in a series looking at Government’s preparations for Brexit. And, as in our previous reports on border preparations, customs, Defra and BEIS, we are concerned about how well Government is prepared. There is a real prospect of major disruption at our ports. The slow progress and poor communication around work to avoid this through schemes such as Project Brock concerns us. The lack of detailed information provided to businesses to help them prepare and the secrecy surrounding discussions through the use of non-disclosure agreements is hampering businesses’ ability to plan. Added to this is the Department’s uphill task to pass the necessary legislation in time, the majority of which the Department sees as essential, whilst allowing time for proper scrutiny of this.
With only months to go, it is extremely worrying that we are seeing these same concerns again and again with little progress being made. Even if a deal is agreed, the Department faces a challenging workload during the proposed transition period. We acknowledge the difficult situation for the Department in having to prepare for all Brexit scenarios. But it must be open about the challenges it faces and work with businesses and stakeholders to help them get ready for whatever the future brings.
Published: 28 November 2018