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Trade has head in the sand over Brexit, says minister

[ October 13, 2020   //   ]

UK traders have their “head in the sand” over Brexit, according to minister of state for Brexit preparedness, Lord Agnew. He told the Treasury Select Committee on 13 October that traders “are not as ready as they should be” for customs declarations when the UK leaves the EU single market at the end of the year.

He added that the Smart Freight port that will be used to ensure that trucks have the correct customs documentation in place before proceeding to the port of loading had been released for beta testing that week.

In response Logistics UK (formerly FTA) director of policy Elizabeth de Jong said: “Rather than ignoring the UK’s upcoming departure from the EU, Logistics UK has been proactively urging its members to make sure that they and their customers prepare as much as possible for the new trading conditions we will face. Like the government we are also calling on the wider business community – the importers and exporters across the UK – to engage with the detail and get ready for 1 January.

“Instead of spending the next 11 weeks before the end of the transition period debating who and what is or isn’t ready, Logistics UK is proactively working with government on a series of metrics to assess readiness, so that government and industry can be as confident as possible that all is on track for a smooth transition to a new trading arrangement with the EU. Despite the challenges our members are facing to cope with the COVID19 pandemic and the festive season, traditionally our busiest time of year, we stand ready to help keep Britain trading as we always do.”

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