The FTA has demanded the government publishes immediately the results of its migration advisory committee recommendations on the future role of European workers, arguing that failing to do so will threaten a break in the UK supply chain.
The government currently proposes to publish the results next year.
The FTA said that waiting until “the UK is on the point of leaving the European Union before deciding the future of EU workers in such a key sector could have a catastrophic effect on all aspects of the nation’s supply chain and its ability to deliver what British business and industry needs to continue to keep trading successfully.”
“The UK is a trading nation, and trade needs to continue to flow freely across its borders,” said James Hookham, deputy CEO of the FTA.
“Whatever political negotiations are under way. The country’s businesses will need time to plan efficiently in the run up to, and after, Brexit, and leaving crucial members of the workforce under a cloud of uncertainty as to their legal status and right to work in the UK is an irresponsible move. Lack of available skilled staff will pose a serious threat to links at every stage of the nation’s supply chain, and could jeopardise supplies of goods and services to homes, businesses and manufacturers at a time when they can least afford it.
“As a sector, logistics operators are already facing serious issues in recruiting sufficient skilled workers to cover the varied and urgent requirements of a sector which serves every area of our daily lives.
“To continue to function effectively, the sector relies on the expertise and knowledge of a wealth of skilled labour from the UK and across the EU. If those EU workers are to be denied access to work as the UK leaves the European Union, their employers need to know now so that plans can be made now, not with only two days’ notice, which is all that the planned MAC publication date will provide.”