The FTA and RHA have both called for meetings with new prime minister Theresa May to discuss future Brexit negotiations and their impact on the logistics industry.
FTA chief executive David Wells called on Theresa May to “prioritise the logistics industry in Brexit negotiations to ensure goods can move freely”. He has requested a meeting with the prime minister “at an early opportunity”.
In a letter to the new prime minister, he said that the economy relies on the import and export of goods so “[it is] essential therefore that the UK government secures arrangements which protect our ability to deliver this”.
“We congratulate Mrs May on her appointment as Prime Minister and are pressing for a meeting with her as soon as possible,” said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett. “The logistics industry employs over 2.2 million people and is a vital component of UK plc.
“It is therefore essential that as Prime Minister she understands that the needs and interests of our industry must be taken into account during the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
“We enjoyed a constructive relationship with Mrs May’s team when she was Home Secretary which resulted in added security for our cross channel drivers who were suffering violence and intimidation as a result of the migrant crisis.”
According to an FTA survey, the top three priorities for hauliers after Brexit are: continued full access to the Single Market, tariff-free access for goods and the preservation of access to the Single Market for services.
Maintaining the ability to continue hiring non-UK drivers who have the right to work in both the UK and the Single Market was also identified as important.
64 per cent of those asked said that the short-term prospects for their business would be negative, but 50 per cent felt that in the long term things would become worse.
Airport expansion concerns
“In the few weeks since the Brexit vote, the UK has entered a period of great uncertainty on the political front and we hope that the new cabinet are ready to confront the massive decisions that now need to be taken,” said Robert Keen, director general, BIFA. “For a start, while we wish Liam Fox and Chris Grayling every success, we urge them and their colleagues in the new Government to stop the procrastination over the expansion of UK aviation capacity and move forward with the recommendations made by the Airports Commission by building more capacity at Heathrow airport.
“I am sure that Liam Fox understands that the UK’s freight forwarding community is the engine of Britain’s international trade.”