11:48 GMT18 January 2021
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    LONDON, (Sputnik) - The UK Road Haulage Association has warned that the government’s secrecy over the new post-Brexit IT software for border controls will leave them unprepared for the end of the transition period on December 31, the Sky News broadcaster reported on Thursday.

    The television channel claimed to have seen a letter addressed to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove in which the RHA bosses also called the proceedings "complete shambles."

    The letter was sent ahead of a meeting scheduled between business groups and Gove on Tuesday, but the minister never showed up, and sent a junior minister in his place, it said.

    One of the mains concerns of the haulage industry is the readiness of the Goods Vehicle Management System, the new IT software that will process the customs declarations for goods entering the European Union starting January 1.

    The UK left the EU on 31 January, but as part of the withdrawal agreement, both sides entered an 11-month transition period to negotiate their future commercial relations.

    Conservative Party branding encouraging them to Get Brexit Done and Invest in our Schools is seen at the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, north-west England on September 29, 2019, on the first day of the annual Conservative Party conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathered his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, promising to get Brexit done.
    © AFP 2020 / PAUL ELLIS
    Conservative Party branding encouraging them to "Get Brexit Done" and "Invest in our Schools" is seen at the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, north-west England on September 29, 2019, on the first day of the annual Conservative Party conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathered his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, promising to "get Brexit done".

    Trade talks have been at an impasse for months over wide divergences over fishing quotas, the level-playing field — the set of common rules and standards designed to prevent businesses in one country from undercutting their rivals in other countries — and governance.

    If no trade deal is secured, the World Trade Organization's rules will come into effect starting in 2021, including customs tariffs and full border checks for goods going across the English Channel.

    A report by the UK’s Department for Transport leaked to the media in September said that thousands of cargo vehicles could be stuck in traffic for as long as 48 hours at the Port of Dover in Kent in the event of a no-deal Brexit, causing shortages of all kinds of goods and harming the economy.

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