Leading transport associations including the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have reiterated the looming catastrophe that a no-deal Brexit would create.
The warnings come after the government announced £4.2 billion has been set aside to prepare for the event of a no-deal Brexit, if a withdrawal agreement cannot be agreed by the time Britain exits the EU on 29 March 2019.
Businesses have been advised to make contingency plans in case Britain leaves without a deal; the fact we are this close to the exit date without a deal is something that has ‘horrified’ business leaders, and leading transport associations have reiterated this danger.
The FTA represents the whole of the logistics sector; the Association doesn’t believe the EU’s contingency plans go far enough, and current plans will not keep trade flowing.
Pauline Bastidon, FTA’s Head of European Policy & Brexit, said: “While FTA is pleased to see the EU27 is taking steps to ramp up no-deal contingency planning, their proposals fall short of what would be necessary to allow our industry to keep the supply chain intact and trade flowing.
“Logistics is the beating heart of the economy, and one on which most businesses – including manufacturing plants, hospitals and shops – have come to rely on.
“The industry is ready to take action but it needs clear directions and a supportive environment, with enough time to adapt.”
The SMMT is another of the leading transport associations unhappy with the prospect of no-deal.
It would add at least £4.5 billion to industry costs, while businesses and jobs have already been lost overseas because of a decline in the sector’s competitiveness.
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, said that no-deal shouldn’t even be an option.
He said: “There is no such thing as a ‘managed’ ‘no-deal’. We would face immediate delivery shortages, additional costs and uncertainty, which will seriously damage our sector.
“Both government and parliament have a responsibility to take this option off the table or risk destroying this vital UK industry.”