23 June 2016, a momentous day in history, as the public went to the polling booths to decide whether the UK should withdraw from the European Union.
As history will testify, 51.9% voted to leave the EU, the UK government then triggered article 50, and from that point there has been uncertainty in abundance. But where does this leave the taxi industry?
On 12 July 2017, the All Party Parliamentary Group On Taxis, headed by Ilford North MP, Wes Streeting, launched their report into the taxi and private hire industry, entitled ‘Lessons From London: The future of the UK taxi trade’.
The 27 page document was a comprehensive assessment, identifying what was needed to keep both industries viable in the 21st Century.
The Government, under the behest of the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, set up a ‘task and finish’ group to create their own report into the taxi and private hire industry.
The Task and Finish Group Report was published on 12 February 2019, not too dissimilar to the APPG report, the next step being to put forward the findings and bring the recommendations of the report into legislation.
With parliament coming back from its recess on 3 September, the country has the prorogation of parliament to enjoy, equating to 23 parliamentary working days. Although the reality is the "shut-down" until 14 October only really equates to around 5 parliamentary days because it is also conference season.
All of this now begs the question "what about the cab trade and new legislation?"
According to sources, it is simply impossible to get any new legislation passed at the moment, primarily because Brexit has rendered the Government a "lame duck".
With a possible general election on the horizon, depending on the outcome of the vote to block a no deal Brexit, the taxi industry could be waiting an extremely long time for any new legislation to be passed.
Those same sources have indicated that it could be years before the taxi industry sees any reformation of legislation, primarily because of Brexit negotiations and the subsequent aftermath, where various governmental departments scrabble around looking to make deals across the globe.
The Department for Transport will be no exception as they attempt to deconstruct and reconstruct every aspect of the transport industry in a bid to keep the country moving. The taxi industry is quite simply not that high up the pecking order.
So for now, the taxi industry appears to be only able to sit, wait and watch.
Image Source: LEVC