The logistics sector in the UK believes progress has been made in the draft Withdrawal Agreement, following negotiations between the UK and the EU.
Both the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) have reacted positively to the fact that the Prime Minister’s agreement contains assurances that frictionless movement of goods and services will continue – ensuring the integrity of the supply chain.
These representatives of the logistics sector also believe remaining within the customs union will allow for transport of goods and services between the UK and the EU until such time that a trade agreement can be negotiated; the fact a transition period will be in place is something that will help ease concerns and guarantee continuity.
Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the RHA, said of the transition period: “Whatever the outcome of negotiations, a transition period is essential – it would be catastrophic for the supply chain if we didn’t have one.
“We must have the time to put in place processes to allow lorries to continue to cross borders without delays.”
Elsewhere in the logistics sector, the FTA believes that Theresa May has taken into account the concerns of the freight industry, as well as its need for access to EU workers.
David Wells, Chief Executive, said: “Based on the briefing I received this evening from the Chancellor and the Business secretary, the draft text seems to have recognised the vital importance of preserving the frictionless movement of good sand the availability of EU workers whilst a new permanent trade deal is negotiated.
“If so, we believe it is crucial that MPs understand how important these outcomes are to economy and the economic security and welfare of the country.”
These words will be of comfort to the Prime Minister, who still faces a battle to get the draft Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament.
Whether that happens remains to be seen, but there is support for the terms within business circles.