Truck manufacturers have called on the next government to secure a swift deal on Brexit and stop the uncertainties that could result from drawn-out negotiations.

Speaking at the Truck to the Future debate, MAN Truck and Bus UK MD Thomas Hemmerich said there was a contrast between negative discussions about the effect of Brexit in Europe and in the UK. He said UK operators were saying “this [Brexit] is great”.

He pointed to the new unit registrations in the first quarter of 2017 – released by the SMMT earlier this month – which reported 10,406 HGVs above 6-tonne GVW were registered. “Looking at the comparison run-rate, you could have 47,000 units, which is enormous,” he said.

However during the panel at the debate, which included representatives from Daf, Iveco and Scania, the manufacturers said uncertainty created by Brexit negotiations could create “insecurity”.

Mark Grant, UK aftersales director at Scania (GB), told delegates: “I would like to see a swift deal with Brexit. The sooner we know what we have to play with, we can adapt our strategies accordingly to work with the logistics industry. Let’s just get on with it. If we can remove red tape on unnecessary legislation and make quicker decisions let’s do it.”

His comments were backed by Hemmerich, who said: “ The biggest issue is insecurity for our industry. Whatever decision is taken should be taken fast. It will be a disaster for the whole industry if this drags on with no decisions. We need clear decisions fast. Also discussions about Scotland, in or out. This is ridiculous for us.”

While clarity on the future of the economy and the legislative environment is important, Martin Flach, product director at Iveco UK also called on the next government to encourage the take up of alternative fuelled vehicles.

After Iveco conducted a successful run of its gas-powered Stralis NP from John O’Groats to Land’s End earlier this month, Flach said the answer to an alternative to diesel was gas.

“Most of the people in the civil service used to look at us like idiots when we said the alternative was gas,” he said. “We have some help with the fuel duty on gas being lower than diesel, but the government can give us additional benefits and help.”