The haulage sector has warned of the perils of lack of detail in post-Brexit trade plans and the threat to free-flowing borders.
This call has been reiterated after Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, spoke after the publication of government’s first no-deal Brexit papers.
While the Freight Transport Association (FTA) – a leading business organisation in the UK – welcome contingency plan advice, it is unequivocal that much more detail is needed on areas such as market access for road haulage and air freight.
If the haulage sector is to thrive outside the European Union, “workable solutions” are required so logistics businesses can continue to trade.
Sarah Laouadi, FTA’s European Policy Manager, said a solution to negotiations is “key” for businesses.
She said: “No deal would be disastrous for logistics. While preparing for every eventuality, including a no-deal position, is a sound strategy, it should not be the end game which negotiators accept.
“There are clear problems which could face our supply chain if agreements cannot be reached, including customs and border arrangements, the continuity of trade agreements and vehicle permits, as well as the continuation of business access to EU workers.
“Solutions for these areas are key to the continued success of British business, both at home and abroad, after 29 March 2019.”
Elsewhere in the haulage sector, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has echoed this disappointment.
In particular, the Association has previously made it clear that greater clarity is needed on post-Brexit trading arrangements.
And the RHA’s spokesperson made it clear that a no-deal Brexit would be a “nail in the coffin” of industry if free-flowing borders aren’t an option post-Brexit.
“The RHA has met with government ministers on many occasions to discuss the needs of UK transport operators and has stressed that the only way to maintain economic links on both sides of the Channel is to continue with the process of free-flowing borders.
“If that’s not going to be the case, then a no-deal Brexit will be little more than a nail in the coffin of the industry responsible for moving 98% of the UK economy.”