The UK Government’s white paper on customs and trade is welcomed, though more certainty is required regarding future arrangements: the ‘no deal’ scenario is not an option for the road freight transport sector.
In business terms, planning is essential to profit potential, and while the white paper outlines initial steps, it leaves many unanswered questions.
Suggestions such as the pre-declaration of goods need further clarification in the light of the consequent administrative burden and increased costs – which would likely fall to the business community and ultimately threaten the economy.
Daniel Kern, who leads IRU’s work on Brexit, said, “We must not forget that road freight transport is the lifeblood of the European and British economies. Although the UK proposals are welcome we need more detail and clarity if the industry is to be able to support trade and economic growth post-Brexit. The possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a comprehensive deal would be the worst possible outcome for the road transport industry.”
IRU is also pushing for the UK government to be more concrete about any transition period, which should only start once there is absolute clarity on future arrangements and transition arrangements should replicate current practice.
Some proposals have been positive, such as the recognition of the importance of customs issues to the Brexit process and the need for an implementation period. Yet the provision of certainty for business must be at the forefront of UK and EU thinking.