FTA urges Brexit negotiations to focus on freight

The UK Freight Transport Association (FTA) has expressed concern by the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations and the threat of a no deal outcome. The industry association is urging the UK and EU-27 leaders to prioritise urgent mitigation measures for industries particularly affected by the UK dropping out of the EU, for example airfreight and international road haulage.

“In the event of No Deal – a scenario identified as a serious possibility by both sides – new agreements would be needed to allow trucks, planes and trains to cross the borders with the EU, keep goods flowing and shops and factories supplied,” said FTA head of European policy Pauline Bastidon.

The logistics sector needs “obtain clarification on how these vehicles, planes and freight trains are to operate cross-border after Brexit; 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,” continues Bastidon.

The contingency plans and mitigating measures for transport are an urgent priority so that businesses can rely on a co-ordinated plan and legal certainties, even in the event of a No Deal outcome, and this is something both sides need to recognise: “The logistics sector is a problem solver, but there is only so much we can do if we are forced to approach this blindfolded and with our hands tied,” said Bastidon. “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.”