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Freight and Road Haulage Lobby Quick to Comment on Latest Brexit News

Nothing is Agreed Until Everything is Agreed UK – EUROPE – It seems it doesn’t take a lot to ignite the Twittersphere when it comes to news on Brexit. Despite the mantra trailed out by European delegates, ‘Nothing is agreed until Everything is agreed’, most pundits have been putting a positive spin on the news. However, even those welcoming the fact that the EU will now pass over some of the outstanding disagreements, and delay things with a 21 month transition period running up to December 2020, admit that the mandatory completion details of the withdrawal agreement cast a shadow.

The freight and road haulage lobby were quick to comment on the latest news.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA[1]) welcome the announcement but called for clarity and the Freight Transport Association (FTA[2]) said the transitional period ending in December 2020 will be a welcome relief for manufacturing and retail businesses exporting and importing from the EU but ‘but there is a long road ahead’. The FTA is also concerned that there is still no clarity as to what customs systems will be in place once the UK leaves the EU and this is the question to which everyone in the industry, whether shippers or agents, needs an answer. James Hookham, Deputy CEO of the FTA said:

“After months of negotiation, the news that a transitional period is finally proposed by both sides is positive news for British business. But there is still a huge amount of technical agreement required to ensure that trade can continue to move between the UK and the European Union with as few delays as possible, if industry and businesses are not to be left with huge breaks in their supply chains, at the end of the transition period. “By ratifying the transitional period to run over the next 20 months, negotiators will be granting business a welcome breathing space in which to formulate plans and learn new processes for trade after December 2020.

However, this timescale and its detail is still to be formally ratified by both sides, and with the inherent risk of a ‘no deal’ outcome at the end of negotiations, business should be wary of complacency and plan accordingly. “Today’s news from Brussels is welcome, as far as it goes. We seem to be getting more time to agree the new border procedures and there is some confidence that UK employers will be able to continue to employ EU nationals up until the end of the transition and beyond, as long as those are permanent residents in the UK or frontier workers.

“Business still needs to know what customs and trade procedures look like after the transition period: the customs duties and taxes, the formalities required in the UK and the arrangements for border inspections of goods, the number of trucks that will be allowed to cross the border and the arrangements for the recognition of drivers’ licences and qualifications. “Clarification in these two areas is a good start but we are still a long way from achieving low friction trade after Brexit. The transition period is welcome but it still leaves a lot for government and industry to achieve in an incredibly short space of time.”

Photo: UK chief negotiator David Davis casts a glance at his EU opposite number Michel Barnier

Freight and Road Haulage Lobby Quick to Comment on Latest Brexit NewsFreight and Road Haulage Lobby Quick to Comment on Latest Brexit News


  1. ^ RHA (www.rha.uk.net)
  2. ^ FTA (www.fta.co.uk)

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