365 days to Brexit: time to step up the pace

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It’s exactly a year to the day when the UK ceases to be a member of the European Union and the government needs to step up the pace on negotiating trading arrangements, the Freight Transport Association has warned.

“Twelve months is a very short time in business terms,” said Pauline Bastidon, head of European policy. “With such a focused timescale, it is unrealistic to expect logistics companies and supply chain managers to wait until the eleventh hour to learn what their new operational arrangements will be and change everything at the last minute. There are too many open questions, when so much is at stake, and if industry is to keep Britain trading, clarity on key areas is needed in the next three months, not 12.

“Arrangements for customs, transport or standards are still unclear, and no solutions to manage borders so that disruptions may be avoided have been agreed yet. Logistics companies and supply chain managers also need urgent clarity on what the UK’s future immigration policy will look like.”

Bastidon also highlighted the fact that arrangements for aviation, road haulage and rail freight are still unclear.

“We still do not know on which basis and how many trucks will be able to cross the borders. In the absence of a liberalised agreement for road transport, industry will have to rely on a very limited and constraining system of permits which would cover less than 3 per cent of the needs, woefully under what will be required.”

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