‘Hijacked by Remainers’ UK’s biggest haulage group no longer invited to Whitehall

Brexit: Ian Watson explains new measures EU lorry drivers

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has been absent from key meetings with the Government since September, according to reports. The trade body, which represents thousands of transport firms in the UK, was involved in a major spat the with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last month after he accused the group of sparking panic at the petrol pumps.

Andrew Baxter, chief executive of logistics firm Europa Worldwide, said his firm quit their association with the RHA over its alleged anti-Brexit stance.

In an interview in September with Sky News, Mr Shapps claimed the RHA had told the media about a private call, where BP said it would be reducing the number of fuel deliveries to forecourts.

The news sparked widespread panic-buying across the country and caused many petrol stations to run-dry.

Rod McKenzie, managing director of policy and public affairs at the RHA, came out and vigorously denied leaking any information.

A source has since described the relationship between the RHA and Whitehall as being in a “deep freeze”.

They told the Telegraph: “The RHA shot themselves in the foot with this leak.
“At the moment the relationship is in a deep freeze – and it will take a long time to repair.

“It will have to be shown that they can be a trustworthy partner.”

A RHA spokesman has again denied leaking any information to the press and said they regularly appeared on the media to downplay the problems to Britons at the pumps.

The group estimates there are 100,000 lorry driver vacancies in the UK.


Mr McKenzie has previously said the reason for the HGV shortage was a “cocktail of chaos”, including a pre-existing shortfall, the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

The RHA was a leading campaigner for the Government to introduce short-term visas for overseas hauliers.

The Europa Worldwide chief has since taken aim at the RHA and claimed it has been “hijacked” by Remainers.

Mr Baxter said: “The RHA has been hijacked by people who passionately believe in Remain and at every turn want to make some Brexit-related point.


Rejoin EU activist mocked after anti-Brexit campaign claims [INSIGHT]
‘Beatrice and Eugenie are phenomenal mothers!’ Fergie says [LIVE]
BBC Weather: UK braces for icy blast weekend before temperature spike [FORECAST]

“I don’t think that’s constructive. All they are doing is alienating people in Government instead of putting forward realistic policy proposals.

“I know lots of other people in our sector who are also unhappy about what is happening in the RHA but they do not want to put their heads above the parapet.”

The RHA did not take an official position during the 2016 EU referendum and said it respects the vote.

The RHA has said it looks forward to working with ministers.

A spokesperson said: “It is entirely untrue that the RHA was in any way to blame for panic at the fuel pumps: indeed, our spokesman appeared on TV to repeatedly stress fuel stocks were high and there was no need to panic buy.

“We have thousands of members who have very real concerns about the driver shortage and the Government’s handling of it.

“We are not a negative organisation and are keen to talk about solutions.

“We would love to talk to the Government about this and think we have positive and creative solutions.”
Source: Read Full Article