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In our role as a provider of HGV training in East Dunbartonshire and across the rest of the UK, we have plenty of opportunities to see foreign registered lorries on our roads. We hold no ill will toward the operators or drivers of these vehicles, as they provide a valuable service that our economy would struggle without. Nonetheless, the 2014 HGV levy implemented to level the playing field between UK and foreign HGVs was much needed. It is unfortunate that the levy has upset the EU.

With the EU referendum now just weeks away, news is emerging that the EU is perturbed by the levy and is considering formal legal action against our government. As reported by the Telegraph and other outlets, Jean-Claude Juncker’s Chief of Staff sent David Cameron a stern letter warning that our government could be brought before the European Court of Justice and eventually fined as a result of the levy. The EU insists that the levy gives UK drivers preferential treatment over their European counterparts.

It is rather interesting that the EU is attempting to keep the potential legal action under wraps while they wait to see how Britons will vote on the coming referendum. They want no bad news to influence the vote in favour of an exit. On the other hand, proponents of an exit now have even more ammunition to use against the EU. Punishing us for implementing the HGV levy is nothing more than Brussels attempting to dictate what we can and cannot do with our infrastructure.

Complexities of Business in Europe

Regardless of how the EU action plays out, the mere fact that Brussels would threaten the UK with legal action underscores the complexities of doing business in Europe. HGV operators, drivers, and logistics sector professionals know this all too well. The myriad of laws that now cover the European continent makes operating a transport or haulage sector company more complicated than it ever has been. We could use a bit of simplification.

As for the road levy, it was absolutely necessary to do what it was designed to do: level the playing field. Prior to its implementation, UK lorry drivers and operators would pay substantial tolls and additional levies throughout the continent while non-UK drivers did not pay when they came to our country. That gave the non-UK operators a competitive advantage when they did business here. The decision by our government to institute a levy simply took what was already in place throughout Europe and implemented it in the UK.

Our role as a provider of HGV training in East Dunbartonshire and throughout the UK will likely not be impacted by legal action surrounding the HGV levy. Still, we hope the EU comes to its senses and drops the attitude. Otherwise, it could come back to bite them in the end.

If you are interested in learning more about our East Dunbartonshire HGV training, we invite you to contact us right now. Use our freephone number or use the contact form on this site.

Sources:

  1. Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/24/eu-threatens-legal-action-over-british-lorry-tax/

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