Thursday 1st Oct 2020 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Brexit threat to key industries

The government has come under renewed pressure over the impact of Brexit on key industries including the motor industry, alcohol and tobacco.

The United Kingdom Warehousing Association has called on the government to ensure that post-Brexit excise legislation does not place an unfair burden on legitimate logistics companies involved in the handling and movement of goods such as alcohol and tobacco.

And the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has warned that tariff barriers resulting from Brexit could damage the UK commercial vehicle industry.

UKWA reckons duties on tobacco fuel and alcohol raised £47 billion in 2014-15 – 7.2 per cent of the government’s total receipts.

It has published a paper setting out its position on the issue which it plans to present to HMRC and the policy makers to help the government understand how the excise supply chain industry works and the impacts that any post-Brexit legislation will have on the sector.

Chief executive Peter Ward said: “Alcohol smuggling and fraud is estimated to cost the Treasury in the region of £2 billion per year in lost revenue and UKWA will continue to co-operate with HMRC to reduce the opportunities for excise fraud in the UK market and close the revenue gap.”

“This is another example of where Brexit provides an opportunity to review existing practices and legislation and ensure that post-Brexit the UK retains this critically important commercial activity, safeguarding jobs and a significant contribution to the economy ”

The SMMT highlighted the fact that some 95 per cent of exports are going to other EU countries and demand from the EU grew by 13.8 per cent as a result of growth following the recession. Every British van (24,447 vehicles) and almost two thirds (62.9 per cent) of trucks exported in the first half of 2017 were destined for EU fleets.

Exports account for almost two-thirds (63.5 per cent) of the commercial vehicles built in Britain.

It warned that any changes to tariff and non-tariff barriers or regulatory and labour issues would have a detrimental effect on the competitiveness of the industry.

SMMT chief Mike Hawes said: “The British and European vehicle manufacturing industries are highly integrated, and a beneficial relationship will take time to negotiate. This is why we need government to seek an interim arrangement that will maintain our place within the single market and customs union until this can be achieved.”

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