FTA calls for rethink on Customs Union exit

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called on the government to review its decision to leave the European Customs Union “given the confusion caused by the results of the General Election and lack of a clear mandate from British voters”.

In a statement, James Hookham, FTA’s Deputy CEO, said: “After four weeks of campaigning for the General Election, vital time has been lost to prepare for the crucial Brexit negotiations.  It is now imperative that that the new government focuses its efforts on supporting the logistics sector to ensure that business can continue to trade efficiently with our EU customers and suppliers.

The FTA statement continued, “Exiting the customs union threatens the imposition of tariffs, border checks, Customs declarations and huge amounts of bureaucracy for the significant number of UK businesses that trade in the EU, and the logistics organisations that deliver it for them. Negotiating a replacement trade deal that avoids these would require a strong and convincing mandate, which the Election has now put into doubt.  The importance of frictionless arrangements for UK trade with the EU, particularly with Ireland, means that the decision to leave the customs union should be reviewed as a matter of urgency, and other ways of achieving a positive outcome for Brexit should now be considered.”

The Conservative Party has failed to secure a majority in Parliament after last week’s election. Even so the PM Theresa May is trying to form a new government with the support of the extreme Northern Ireland unionist party the Democratic Unionist Party. While the negotiations take place between the two parties takes place, a sense of inertia is falling over Westminster even while the clock ticks until Brexit negotiations re-start.  
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