Business, Forwarding, Freight News, Logistics

FTA welcomes Brexit ‘clarity’

[ February 10, 2020   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association has welcomed remarks by Cabinet minister Michael Gove at a briefing on 10 February, saying they had brought much-need clarity to the logistics industry.

FTA’s UK policy director Elizabeth de Jong said the announcements about the UK’s future relationship with Europe “provide more much-needed clarity for logistics operators, and his assertion that there will be no extension to the transition period gives businesses a finite deadline to which to work.” News of funding to help industry prepare for operation outside the EU is certainly welcome, whatever the outcome of the negotiations, she added.

Moreover: “Mr Gove put to rest Sajiv Javid’s assertion that industry had plenty of time to prepare.  It is encouraging for industry that he said he does not underestimate what needs to be done and that he has his civil servants focussed on capturing and providing industry with the details we need, we hope within the timeframes we need to prepare.

“As representatives of the logistics industry, we are naturally disappointed that the promise of frictionless trade has been replaced with a promise that trade will be as seamless as possible but not until 2025, with a more realistic but costly “make do and mend” approach to be employed until then.  Industry will need the support of government during this period.”

At the briefing, which was also attended by BIFA and other groups, Gove warned the industry to prepare for more border controls between Britain and the European Union after Brexit, and that there was a risk of some disruption to trade.

It’s also unlikely that the EU would extend any ‘grace period’ to UK trade after the UK government’s refusal to reciprocate.

Gove also admitted that there would be “light-touch” controls on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland despite denials by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.