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FTA asks PM for answers on Ulster

[ November 23, 2018   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association stressed that No Deal is not an acceptable option for the Northern Ireland logistics industry at an audience with Theresa May on 22 November at Number 10 Downing Street, t

The meeting, at the request of the Prime Minister, gave Northern Ireland policy lead Seamus Leheny and three of the association’s members the opportunity to give FTA’s support for the draft Brexit agreement to the Prime Minister personally, while intensifying its call to Parliament to avoid a disorderly departure from the EU and consider the impact of a No Deal outcome on the island of Ireland.

Leheny was accompanied by FTA members Woodside Logistics Group, Manfreight and Derry Refrigerated Transport.

He commented: “The draft Brexit agreement is not perfect – there is much work to be done to ensure Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK gets the best deal possible – but it’s a very positive step in the right direction.” The meeting was an opportunity for FTA to drill into the detail of the agreement and get answers to our most pressing questions from the Prime Minister herself, not least reassurances on the future security of cross-border trade in Ireland.

He explained that currently around 7,000 HGVs per day move goods from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland and 70% of this trade is in intermediate goods, which are used by businesses to create or develop other products. Many of these products go on to be exported further afield and so must not be subject to unnecessary fiscal or regulatory controls.”

FTA believes that the draft agreement presented to Cabinet last week would allow the continued frictionless movement of goods until at least 2021, when a new trade agreement will be negotiated, while protecting citizens’ rights, both in the UK and the EU, which will safeguard the logistics workforce.

“Much has been talked about Irish trading options, both cross border and with the rest of the UK, but logistics operators still need clarification on what exactly will be required of them,” continues Leheny.  “Logistics is an agile industry, known for its ability to change and adapt to situations but any changes take time to plan and implement, and the clock really is on its final countdown now.  If the goods which Northern Ireland’s economy relies upon are to keep moving freely, business deserves answers.”

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