Pauline Bastidon, FTA’s Head of European Policy said, in response to the vote:
“FTA...welcomes today’s vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the House of Commons as encouraging news for the sector, but is warning its members that this is not the end of the process to protect the UK’s trading relationships with the EU. The process of ratification of the withdrawal agreement is not complete yet, and while the prospect of a no-deal Brexit on 31 January is now unlikely, there is tangible risk that the UK might leave the transition period at the end of 2020 without a free trade agreement in place, or with an agreement which does not deliver frictionless trade.
“We call on the Government to prioritise the smooth flow of goods and to focus on minimising frictions, red tape and costs during the negotiations on the future relationship. Ensuring logistics is involved every step of the way, from the definition of the negotiating mandate to implementation of new rules is the best way of ensuring that the new trade and transport arrangements will work in practice and allow logistics to Keep Britain Trading. As the voice of logistics, we stand ready to do just this.”
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.