As the British Government made overtures to Brussels last week in a bid to settle differences over the Northern Ireland Protocol, a delegation of hauliers, led by the RHA met with senior officials at the European Commission in Brussels.

The delegation of RHA members was organised by RHA’s Northern Ireland policy manager John Martin, who had secured the meeting with senior officials in the European Commission in Brussels.

The RHA members represented hauliers engaged in trade between Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI) who have experience of the issues created by Northern Ireland Protocol.

The meeting covered concerns about the current framework of the Protocol, the application of its provisions within Northern Ireland, the introduction of new requirements without any notice to stakeholders and the inconsistent application of it in Northern Ireland when compared to Ireland.

Other issues raised included the full cost of the Protocol which the RHA members warned will impact significantly on consumers and businesses once the current easements and mitigations are removed.

Concerns were also raised regarding the pressure being applied for the introduction of checks, bureaucracy requirements and restriction on trade moving goods from Northern Ireland to GB – and the impact this will have on businesses and consumers.

John Martin said: “The meeting was extremely beneficial and ensured the Commission officials actually heard from the businesses who are experiencing the reality of the Protocol on a daily basis.

“It’s envisaged this meeting will ensure the logistics community in Northern Ireland views are heard in the heart of the Commission, which is a welcome development. We look forward to more detailed and frequent engagement over the coming weeks.”