The government has put together draft legislation that will allow hauliers to continue to ply their loads across Europe and carry out cabotage under a new licence, dubbed the UK Licence for the Community.

It will also guarantee the existing rights of EU hauliers to transport goods and carry out cabotage in the UK.

However the licence will only come into existence if the EU guarantees UK hauliers equivalent rights to their European counterparts after Brexit.

If no reciprocal agreement is made, under draft EU legislation, UK hauliers will be allowed to carry on using the Community Licence until the end of 2019.

After that they will be forced to use the very limited number of ECMT permits on offer.

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The draft legislation, known as the licencing of operators and international road haulage (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, states: “The amendments recognise that the UK authorities will not be able to issue Community Licences after exit day because the UK will no longer be a Member State.

"In its place the UK authorities will issue an equivalent document referred to as a 'UK licence for the Community' on the expectation that reciprocal arrangements between the UK and the EU are able to continue on the same terms as exist before the UK exists the EU. The UK will continue to recognise EU Community licences.”

James Firth, head of licensing policy and compliance information at FTA, told “This is working towards what the FTA would like and is a long way from the ECMT permits. However this still hangs on a reciprocal arrangement being agreed.”