Freight News, Logistics, Business

Many questions remain as Brexit gets green light

[ January 23, 2020   //   ]

With the Withdrawal Agreement receiving royal assent on 23 January, the Freight Transport Association warned that many questions still needed to be answered on the UK’s future relations with the European Union.

Director of policy Elizabeth de Jong, said: ““While FTA is pleased to see the Withdrawal Agreement has received royal assent – this will provide businesses with greater clarity on short-term UK-EU trade arrangements – ratification of the deal is only the start of the process. We call on the Government to answer critical questions about our future trading arrangements with the EU after the Brexit transition period.”

FTA said it needed answers to “a list of vital questions” so that the planning and testing of new trade procedures can begin. These included the exact processes and types of formalities required for goods moving across the borders, and the new systems, accreditations and training needed to make this happen successfully. While changes in the way borders operate and export and import formalities are to be expected, FTA is calling on the government to prioritise the smooth flow of goods and seek to minimise friction, red tape and costs.

It follows recent suggestions by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, of a harder-line approach to Brexit. Ms de Jong added that, contrary to statements by Javid, “businesses have not had three years to prepare. Whilst discussions regarding the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU have been happening since the referendum in 2016, there has not been sufficient detail released for the logistics industry to prepare. FTA is asking the government to include logistics in every step of the way – from the definition of the negotiating mandate to implementation of new rules – to ensure any new trade and transport arrangements will work in practice.”