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Brexit: ‘No Deal’ is no option, says FTA

A ‘No Deal’ Brexit should be avoided at all costs, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

This statement came in response to a report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) regarding the Department for Transport’s (DfT) implementation of Brexit. It alleged a “significant and growing risk” that DfT would not be ready in the event of a ‘No Deal’ scenario next March.

Now, FTA has said that appropriate project management would never have been enough to mitigate the impact of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on logistics. Instead, the organisation claims that the only way to prevent major disruption to the UK supply chain is for MPs to vote in favour of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement proposal.

According to Pauline Bastidon, Head of European Policy and Brexit at FTA: “We share some of the Public Accounts Committee’s concerns and have many questions, particularly in relation to traffic management in the event of ‘No Deal’ and how Operation Brock would work in practice. FTA is concerned many businesses are not aware of the true scope of possible changes, particularly on the continent, but we are doing everything we can to address these shortcomings and provide answers to our member’s questions.

“However, the Committee has missed the biggest and most fundamental problem in our view in relation to transport and ‘No Deal’. Ultimately, the biggest issue for transport is the issue of market access; the ability for operators to transport goods across the borders. This is not an issue the UK can solve unilaterally. With just four months until the UK leaves the EU, the situation is alarming.”

Bastidon concluded: “The only way to address the issues a ‘No Deal’ would present for transport, and ultimately for the entire economy, is for MPs to vote in favour of Mrs May’s proposals. The Withdrawal Agreement allows the UK to leave the EU in an orderly fashion and avoid the chaotic disruption to the flow of goods between Britain and the rest of the EU that would occur were we to leave without an agreement in place.”

Whether MPs will agree with the FTA’s assessment remains to be seen however.

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