The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is urging politicians to refocus on the needs of business if Brexit is to be a success for the UK economy.
Ahead of this week’s publication of the government’s Brexit White Paper, FTA, which represents more than 17,000 logistics businesses nationwide, has called on both sides of Parliament to ensure that the final agreement will ensure British business can continue to trade efficiently with its continental neighbours once the UK leaves the European Union.
FTA deputy chief executive, James Hookham said the “time for talk is definitely over,” and added: “Businesses urgently need a confirmed action plan for how a smooth and efficient Brexit is to be achieved, without the constant political posturing and power grabbing which has dominated the past few days.
“Now is the time for positive moves to enable logistics businesses to plan, prepare and adapt successfully to new trading conditions after March 2019.”
He also said: “Despite plenty of hot air around the topic in recent weeks, businesses could still be faced with the risk of a highly disruptive “no deal” scenario, which could destroy the efficient UK/Europe supply chain which keeps our shops and businesses stocked and running.
“Politicians owe it to companies to provide them with a workable White Paper that will allow positive plans to be made, to protect both trade and the millions of jobs involved in an efficient logistics industry. Political posturing is no substitute for commercial confidence.”
“We have all been very patient, but it is now time for politicians to shut up and show us how committed they are to ensuring secure trading relationships in the future. Logistics is, by its very nature, flexible and adaptable to change, but there are certain areas requiring immediate attention which we need to see confirmed in the White Paper, if Britain’s trading routes are to continue to flourish.”
Hookham continued: “Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.
“With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc.
“A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.