Agency Sector Management (ASM) chairman Peter MacSwiney has been appointed to a new Technical Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group to explore options to replace the Northern Ireland Brexit backstop by the end of 2020.
The advisory group consists of 15 technical experts in customs and trade from both the public and private sectors, and academia.
“The ongoing debate surrounding the Northern Ireland backstop is causing further uncertainty for the transport and logistics industry and we have to find a solution,” said MacSwiney (pictured above).
“The new Technical Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group will help to inform the government about other options available, with the aim of replacing the backstop and providing some much-needed certainty to businesses that are reliant on cross-border trade.”
MacSwiney recently called for the government to provide clear guidelines to help businesses to prepare for Brexit during a panel at Multimodal in Birmingham.
“The one thing we have lacked is certainty,” he said during the panel. “How many businesses would spend thousands of pounds on a system that might not be right?
“If we knew what we were faced with, we could find solutions to deal with it.
“The technology is there, but we have to develop it, and we should think in terms of five years and a minimum of three years to get it working and to train people to use it.”
The Technical Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group is the first of three domestic advisory groups set up by the government to find alternative arrangements to the backstop.
The second will be comprised of business and trade unions, and the third made up of parliamentarians.
The first meeting of the Technical Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group was held last week.
ASM is the software provider to the UK Customs clearance and freight forwarding industries and has three decades of experience in addressing the complex needs of global freight forwarders and providing total customs solutions.