Britain’s logistics industry has issued a stark call to the government today – give us the information we need to keep the nation’s trade moving efficiently post-Brexit or face delays and shortages of the products and services the UK relies on.
Speaking at the Keep Britain Trading conference in London today, organised by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), Leigh Pomlett, the organisation’s 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 30 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.”
FTA, which speaks for the whole of the logistics sector and represents more than 17,000 member organisations, 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.”
In addition to the confirmation of the status of EU workers and the permits required for both vehicles and freight travelling to and from the Continent, FTA reiterated its calls for clarity on the continued mutual recognition of 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.”
For more information about FTA’s Brexit asks, and the work of the association, please visit . 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. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.