Logistics industry warns of Brexit hiatus
The logistics industry has issued a stark warning to the government, calling for more immediate decisions to allow the nation’s trade to keep moving post-Brexit.
The industry has warned that they need to plan for the future now, and decisions need to be made to keep effective operations once Britain’s exit from the EU is made formal or delays and shortages will be inevitable.
Speaking at the Keep Britain Trading conference in London, Leigh Pomlett, FTA President said: “The time for political negotiations on Brexit is fast running out, and those of us responsible for keeping Britain trading need urgent assistance and guidance from government. We are now in a crucial period where businesses (like mine) need to make spending decisions and commit to operating plans for the period when Brexit will be a reality, but we are currently operating “in the dark”.
“Without knowing who we will be employing, how we will be crossing borders, what certifications and permits goods and vehicles will require in order to travel, business as we know it will be unable to continue. The logistics industry will be the first part of the economy to encounter the realities of Brexit when vehicles drive off the first ferry to arrive in Calais on 30th March 2019 and we want things to go smoothly, but we need more information about the trading conditions we are to expect once the UK leaves the EU. The time for talking is over – it’s now time to act.”
The FTA reiterated its call for clarification on the eight points its members need for the continuation of frictionless trade once the UK departs the European Union:
“Simply saying things will be ok is no longer enough,” he continued. “The logistics sector will be key to making Brexit work for the UK but we can no longer work blind and be left to guess what we may have to do, and when by. Today’s delegates have been clear in their instructions to government: logistics wants Brexit to go well for the country, but needs the tools with which to facilitate a smooth departure from the EU for all British business.”
Clarification is required on EU workers, vehicle and freight permits, vocational driving licences and competency certificates, as well as the number of vehicle permits which will be available to enable vehicles to cross the Channel.
“Today’s conference has been very clear in its asks for government: logistics businesses need a clear roadmap to enable them to plan efficiently for a post-Brexit world. There is no more time for political posturing – British business deserves clarity and progress to reinforce the nation’s trading position in a post-Brexit world.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc.
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