Air, Business, Freight News, Logistics, Road

FTA welcomes Commission’s stay of execution

[ September 6, 2019   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed plans by the European Commission to extend the period of operation of its contingency measures for road haulage and aviation. However, while this would give UK logistics operators welcome breathing space as they continue their Brexit preparations, it would give only seven more months – for road until end July 2020 and aviation until 24 October 2020.

As the proposal has yet to be adopted into law, operators still face uncertainty , it said.

FTA’s Head of European Policy Pauline Bastidon said it would ease some of the anxieties of UK road and air freight operators, who had been left to wonder whether they could still deliver goods to and from the EU after the end of the year, saying that the association has been pushing to extend accessibility for logistics operators since Article 50 was extended beyond 12 April this year

She urged the European Parliament and member states to adopt it as quickly as possible, adding: “However, seven months is a relatively short time in business, and the logistics industry is wary that it could well be left to face yet another cliff edge of uncertainty if a long-term proposal for future road and air access cannot be confirmed with the EU in a timely manner. It is undeniable that the new agreements will help maintain trading relationships in the short term and are better than no agreement at all, but they do not provide a long term, sustainable solution for road haulage and aviation between the UK and EU.  The new EU measures will not protect the current operating levels of UK businesses, many of which will find their access to European markets constrained, even with the new accessibility agreements. This is especially true for road haulage.”

She said that many easements, including those previously conceded ahead of a potential No-deal exit in March, need to be discussed and ratified by the UK’s Parliament, and the recent decision for prorogation will mean that their formal extension may only come at the eleventh hour.