The government is playing chicken with the future of the British economy and the haulage industry, the FTA has warned.

As the next round of talks on post-Brexit customs arrangements approaches, the trade association launched a damning attack on the government’s “reckless” Brexit strategy.

FTA deputy chief executive James Hookham said: “The industry's frustration with the lack of progress is building daily. Logistics businesses simply cannot answer their customers' questions about how they will move goods after Brexit. Manufacturers and retailers are losing faith and fear that post-Brexit Britain is at real risk of becoming nothing more than a series of road blocks at our ports and airports.”

Hookham accused some government ministers of taking a reckless attitude to negotiations.

He said: "What is really making our members angry is that these real, legitimate concerns are simply being dismissed by some members of the government on the basis that it will not be in the EU's interests to impose them.

“This is a reckless attitude to take and is playing chicken with crucial parts of the British economy and the livelihoods of the seven million Britons in the industry,” he said, warning that EU member states are recruiting “hordes of border officials to enforce their rule book, regardless of the cost to their businesses and consumers.”

Hookham added: “The reliance on the other side blinking first is hanging the logistics industry out to dry.”

The FTA also slammed the government for failing to reach agreement on key areas such as the transition period and the customs arrangements from March next year.

Hookham said: “We keep getting told that all food and agricultural exports to the Continent and Ireland will be checked at EU ports - but there is nowhere to check them, and the system to check them does not exist.

“We still don't know if we will be able to employ the 43,000 truck drivers in the UK that are nationals from another member state - that's 13% of our driver workforce. There is no clarification on whether UK drivers' qualifications are to be recognised, so they could well be barred from driving their own vehicles on the Continent.”

The FTA also called on the government to prioritise a deal on haulage permits, claiming that with no trade agreement “there will only be 103 international haulage permits to cover the 300,000 journeys made by British trucks to Europe each year".

Hookham said: “This is the trucking equivalent of the threat to the aviation sector because of the ending of Europe-wide agreements when the UK leaves the Single Market."