Logistics UK is urging both sides in the Brexit negotiations to focus on achieving a consensus in order to protect economies on both sides of the Channel from the impact of a potential No Deal outcome. Elizabeth de Jong, the business group’s policy director, is encouraging negotiators to take a pragmatic view in order to protect the interests of those charged with keeping supply chains open:
“Neither side would benefit from a No Deal outcome”, she says. “Both sides should be seeking to avoid tariffs which would make everyday household items we import more expensive, some by up to 30%. Without a deal, the cross-Channel logistics sector cannot function. With no agreement currently in place for HGV access to and from the EU, many logistics companies cannot be certain if they can operate next year and cannot plan their work. This puts the country’s entire supply chain at risk.
“Many deadlines have slipped and been reassessed over the past few months, but time really is now running out if the treaty is to be ratified in time for the New Year. Business needs and deserves certainty over the terms in which the economy will operate from 1st January 2021 – this further delay to the talks between the two sides leaves international hauliers and traders in limbo, with little or no time to implement new business processes. Logistics is agile and flexible but is running out of time to make the necessary transition to new trading arrangements.”