Brexit, illustrative. Photo: Pixabay

Logistics sector should not be the the ‘whipping boy’ in Brexit process

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is urging the UK government once again to reach an agreement with the EU to keep the goods and services flowing. Logistics must not and will not be held up as the “whipping boy” for politicians who have failed to take into account the complexity of the supply chain over the past two years”, the interest group for the British logistics sector said.

As Theresa May’s Brexit deal was turned down on Tuesday, the uncertainty of the repercussions was continued once again, only now with less than three months until the day that the UK steps out of the European Union. “With no clear solution for what happens next, the risk of a No Deal has risen significantly, and the problems which this would cause of businesses, which now have virtually no time to prepare, would be catastrophic for the UK’s supply chain, on which we all rely”, said James Hookham, Deputy CEO at FTA.

Perfect storm

“Mrs May’s Lancaster House speech, two years ago to the day. promised that frictionless trade would be protected, whatever the outcome of negotiations with the EU: this promise has not materialised.

“A No Deal would increase delays at the country’s borders, increase red tape and costs for logistics businesses already operating on narrow margins, restrict access for transport to the EU and reduce the available skilled workforce for logistics operators – all problematic on their own, but when viewed together, a perfect storm which could cause untold damage to businesses and individuals right across the country, not just those trading directly with the EU.”

No parameters

According to the group, operators of all sizes are always prepared to go the extra mile to deliver for customers, but without knowing the parameters of the market in which they are and will be working, planning has been almost impossible.

“A no deal Brexit would leave logistics operators facing increased red tape, restrictions to access and to skilled staff, increased delays and rising costs and puts the livelihoods of the hardworking Britons involved in the movement of freight at risk. No one voted for that, and FTA is urging the government once again to reach an agreement with the EU which can keep goods and services flowing with minimal or no hindrance – that is what was promised two years ago, and that is what the industry expects”, Hookham said.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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