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U.K. logistics industry sounds Brexit alarm

Freight Transport Association tells the government: Give us the tools to keep Britain trading.

Britain’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) says the logistics industry needs urgent assistance and guidance from the government if delayed shipments or shortages of products are to be avoided after the country leaves the European Union.

Speaking at a “Keep Britain Trading” conference in London this week, FTA President Leigh Pomlett 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,” Pomlett said.

“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 March 20, 2019, and we want things to go smoothly, but we need more information about the trading conditions we are to expect once the U.K. leaves the EU. The time for talking is over — it’s now time to act.”

“Simply saying things will be OK is no longer enough,” he continued.

“The logistics sector will be key to making Brexit work for the U.K., but we can no longer work blind and be left to guess what we may have to do, and when by,” he said. “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 licenses and competency certificates, as well as the number of vehicle permits which will be available to enable vehicles to cross the channel.


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