Brexit on the brink - Britain's businesses need to be border-ready for Friday
Wednesday 10 April 2019
As the Prime Minister headed to Berlin and Paris today (9 April 2019), FTA, the business organisation which speaks for the logistics industry, is reminding logistics businesses that, at this stage, Friday is still the legal date for the UK to leave the European Union. With that in mind, FTA is advising all businesses with EU supply chains to activate their No Deal readiness plans for possible implementation this weekend.
“On Brexit, nothing has been decided,” explains James Hookham, FTA’s Deputy CEO, “and with so many complicated and interdependent discussions going on, both in Westminster and Brussels, it would be easy for businesses to get caught up in the rhetoric and be lulled into a sense of complacency. Just because conversations are being had about the possibility of an extension to Article 50, there is no certainty that this will take place.
“The trading relationship between the UK and EU is hanging on by its fingernails this week and has the real potential to collapse into a No Deal Brexit if politicians go too close to the edge. FTA is urging all businesses involved in UK–EU trade not to rely on political statements or aspirations in their contingency planning but to recognise the legal landmarks and the real risks to business continuity. If agreement on a way forward is not reached by Wednesday evening, then there is a real danger of the cliff edge giving way and taking the entirety of UK-EU trade with it”.
As Mr Hookham confirms, a No Deal Brexit is still possible this Friday (12 April) at 11pm UK time, and businesses should continue to prepare for this eventuality:
“The risk of No Deal is still very much with us, leaving those businesses managing supply chains between the UK and the EU exposed to potential disruption and rising costs, with possibly as little as 48 hours' notice. If logistics businesses are to keep Britain trading efficiently, their plans for ‘No Deal’ trading conditions need to be made ready now, for possible implementation this Friday evening.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.