Practical solutions needed to keep post-Brexit Britain trading

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The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has expressed its concern at the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations, urging action to keep trade flowing between the UK and EU.

With six months to go until the UK leaves the European Union and the threat of No Deal looming, the FTA is urging European leaders to ensure trade that cannot function without international agreements, including airfreight and international haulage can keep flowing freely after Brexit.

FTA head of European policy, Pauline Bastidon says: “With only six months left until Brexit, it is fair to say that the negotiations have not progressed as far as we would have hoped.  With so much political posturing playing out in the media, it is easy to forget that there are deeply integrated supply chains and jobs at risk if things go wrong.”

She adds that new agreements will be needed to allow trucks, aircraft and trains to cross borders with the European Union to keep goods flowing and shops and factories supplied.

Additional costs and red tape are major concerns for FTA members, but Bastidon says biggest worry would be the drastic reductions to the international movement of freight vehicles and aircraft.

Explaining that the logistics sector needs clarification on cross-border movement, Bastidon says: “Simply saying that things will be sorted out or that both sides will take unilateral measures in isolation, as suggested repeatedly on the EU side, is no insurance or reassurance for businesses which are currently negotiating contracts with no knowledge of whether or not they will be able to provide the services they are committed to without market access being permitted.”

The association is urging both sides to work on contingency plans and mitigating measures so businesses can plan and have legal certainties even in the event of No Deal.

Bastidon says: “These solutions need to be worked on and agreed now, not at the eleventh hour, while trying to find a more sustainable solutions for the overall negotiations.  Our members need tangible answers, not political theories.”