FTA, the business group which represents the logistics industry, has reacted with delight to the announcement from government on a package of measures aimed to ease the UK’s transition to a new trading relationship with the EU from 1 January 2021.
The package of unilateral measures, announced by Michael Gove MP, will provide some certainty to the UK’s logistics operators, who are currently facing the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. FTA was the first business group to voice its concerns over the lack of time and clarity available to them in planning for the UK’s departure from the EU and specifically ask for an implementation period, as Alex Veitch, Head of International Policy at FTA explains:
“Today’s announcement is very welcome news for the logistics industry. Government has listened to our concerns and made allowances to enable our sector to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and plan effectively and in good time for a new trading relationship with Europe and will come as a huge relief to the 200,000 or so companies whose businesses are based on access to the EU market. They will now have time to learn and adapt to new procedures.
“As a sector, logistics has been fully focused over the past few months on ensuring that the UK’s economy has been supplied with all the items it needs to cope with the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19. FTA wrote to Michael Gove in March and again in June to express our concerns over the number of issues which remain to be resolved to ease the UK’s trading departure from the EU and it is encouraging that he has recognised our concerns and acted to mitigate them. Of course, there is still much to be agreed, both from a UK and EU point of view, as we leave the European Union. The proposal is measured and balanced, so that logistics businesses will not feel the full shock of a sudden cut-off at the end of 2020.”
“We are grateful to government for listening to the concerns of the industry and look forward to working with them over the coming months to agree the detail of the processes which will be used to keep the UK trading from 1 January 2021. Our flexible, highly skilled sector stands ready to make a success of Brexit and today’s announcement has provided more clarity. We now urge negotiators on both sides of the table to progress towards a Free Trade Agreement to complement the measures announced today.”