A campaign by the British National Party (BNP) to recruit lorry drivers as members has been dismissed by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the Labour Party. However the BNP claims its support is increasing due to a campaign that promotes British haulage and targets Continental firms which it believes are undercutting UK business with cheaper fuel costs.
Paul Golding, a London-based haulier and producer of the BNP campaign, says "there has been a very good response from drivers" since it started in early September. Golding has designed an A5 poster branded with a lorry and the caption 'enough is enough'. Up to 1,000 have been distributed by drivers and operators, and Golding predicts this number will increase substantially.
The RHA has dismissed the campaign for lacking substance. A spokeswoman for the RHA says: "It is interesting to note that the BNP makes no mention as to how it intends to protect British industries, how it intends to put British drivers first, or how it would pull Britain out of the European Union."
A spokesman for the Labour Party says it will be not be giving time to the BNP campaign.
In response to the campaign, the Department for Transport (DfT) has defended its work in protecting the interests of UK hauliers. A spokesman says it secured an agreement in June whereby European drivers could carry out no more than three domestic journeys within a week before departing the UK. This is subject to ratification by the European Parliament in the autumn.
At the time Rosie Winterton, Minister of Transport at the EU Transport Council, said: "This will ensure UK hauliers can continue to secure regular domestic work while foreign hauliers are limited to ad hoc work when they have delivered their international load."