Elizabeth de Jong, FTA’s Policy Director, explains we all need to be wary of failure by the UK government to prioritise the key areas “Keeping the UK and the EU Trading”:-
Engage with logistics from the start – UK PLC is reliant upon a highly complex, interconnected supply chain, and if the needs of those responsible for moving goods and services to support the country’s economy are not prioritised, the effects could be devastating for the supply of vital products to shops, schools, hospitals and manufacturing.
Minimise Friction red tape and costs from the start – “It costs more than £1 a minute to operate an HGV – so lengthy delays at the border could add significant costs to the price of goods, driving up prices and fuelling inflation.”
Mitigate the risk of disruption at the Borders – The need for physical checks should be reduced and any which are required should be take place away from the border.
Provide training and support capacity building – “There is a substantial customs agent shortage and member states and the UK government need to urgently address this by giving support, guidance and funding have time to test and feedback on proposals, and then time to install and train staff.”
Maintain transport connectivity by road, rail, sea and air – “Trade facilitation measures are needed to reduce the impact of additional border requirements and red tape and help reduce the threat of delays and added costs.”
Preserve essential staff mobility – The ability of UK workers to cross borders easily must be protected – goods cannot move without a human interaction, leaving vehicles stranded at borders if extensive immigration checks are carried out.