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Give us the tools and we’ll do the job, says FTA chief

[ June 21, 2018   //   ]

Freight Transport Association (FTA) president Leigh Pomlett called on the government to give the logistics industry the information it needs to keep the nation’s trade moving efficiently post-Brexit or face delays and shortages of roducts and services.

Speaking at the Keep Britain Trading conference in London on 20 June, he 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 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.  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 30 March 2019 and we want things to go smoothly, but we need more information about the trading conditions we are to expect once the UK leaves the EU.  The time for talking is over – it’s now time to act.”

FTA reiterated its call for clarification on the eight points its members need for the continuation of frictionless trade once the UK departs the European Union:

“Simply saying things will be ok is no longer enough,” Pomlett continued.  “The logistics sector will be key to making Brexit work for the UK but we can no longer work blind and be left to guess what we may have to do, and when by. 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 travelling to and from the Continent, FTA reiterated its calls for clarity on the continued mutual recognition of vocational driving licences 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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