THE FREIGHT Transport Association is calling on MPs to vote in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement to keep Britain trading post-Brexit by delivering the frictionless trade that the logistics sector was promised.
James Hookham, deputy chief executive of FTA, says, ‘If the UK’s complex supply chain is to be protected, and the nation is to keep on trading efficiently after Brexit, it is vital that a deal is reached with the EU. A No Deal outcome to negotiations is not an option which would be acceptable to the continued success of the UK’s logistics industry. So much depends on the nation’s economic success and on the maintenance of a successful, resilient supply chain.
• Peter Ward, CEO of UKWA (United Kingdom Warehousing Association), has called on members to contact their MPs and voice support for the government’s latest Brexit deal.
‘While recognising that the withdrawal agreement tabled by the government is not perfect and includes areas of compromise, if this is the mechanism that allows us to get over the line into a transition agreement, we welcome it,’ he said.
‘The PM is in an impossible position in trying to carry everyone with her, but the alternative of no deal is unthinkable. The country has spoken and leave means leave, as the PM has repeatedly said. However, from a business perspective it is vital that we have enough time to plan for transition. Furthermore, it is important to remember that this is not the final outcome but a strategic step forward. These negotiations are hugely complex and the key achievement now will be to move the country forward towards transition.’
• Following a meeting with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling at 10 Downing Street, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: ‘The current withdrawal agreement is a solution for the UK’s all important haulage industry which will keep the supply chain moving. A rejection of the withdrawal agreement, without an alternative transitional period, means that the industry responsible for moving the UK economy, will stagger towards a cliff edge disaster.’
‘That transition gives a chance for efficient new border technology, and systems across industry, to be put into place to avoid disastrous queues at ports and a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. A deal will avoid reliance on an acute shortage of permits and measures for customs that are unworkable and impractical.’
‘The RHA has never taken a political view on Brexit. but the RHA’s board of directors feel parliamentary approval for a deal that includes a transition period is essential to avoid crippling the supply chain. The RHA believes any outcome delivered by Parliament that fails to deliver this is irresponsible.’