In response to the House of Commons vote in the UK, Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, emphasises the importance of open markets.
“The House of Commons has made a historic decision which we need to respect. Kuehne + Nagel is committed to global free trade in principle which ensures prosperity for everyone. So from our perspective, “No Brexit” would be the preferred solution, since any form of Brexit is bound to increase trade barriers.
A disorderly Brexit is the worst solution. It will impose massive restrictions on the exchange of goods between the European Union and the United Kingdom. We appeal to the responsible bodies in London and Brussels to do the utmost to prevent this scenario. As far as we are concerned, we are focussed on ensuring the constant flow of goods for our customers”, says Trefzger.
Kuehne + Nagel has engaged customers and own industry experts over the past years to assess all possible impacts. In order to cope with the effects of a disorderly Brexit Kuehne + Nagel has taken steps to review all options to secure capacity on trade routes with Europe outside of the Kent corridor both by sea and air. Moreover, the company has commenced recruitment of additional customs clerks.
Kuehne + Nagel was asked to participate in the UK Government Cross Border Steering Group and will use this opportunity to define sustainable solutions as the set of Brexit conditions becomes clearer.
British Ports Association Responds to Brexit Vote
The ports industry notes developments in Parliament this evening and some in our sector will have real concern about the increasing possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit outcome. We would urge the Government to clarify its alternative plans immediately and do whatever is necessary to avoid a disorderly withdrawal from the EU.
We have now been discussing the implications of a ‘no deal’ Brexit with Ministers and officials for more than two years and we know they fully appreciate the disruption that this would entail at certain key port gateways. Whilst plans are in place to mitigate some of the worst aspects of this, the fundamental dangers to free flowing trade remain and must be avoided if at all possible. Ports also have a vested interest in a stable and healthy economy. We are obviously now very close to exit day and many in the ports sector will be seeking guarantees that time will found for further negotiation to avoid the UK leaving the EU on unfavourable terms.
Can be attributed as a quote from Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association.
No deal - bad for business, says FTA
While Westminster is no closer to a decision on the UK’s future relationship with the EU, FTA, the organisation which speaks and stands up for the logistics sector is urging politicians to reach a decision which supports the nation’s businesses or risk putting the UK’s trading platform and economy in jeopardy.
“A No Deal Brexit would be highly damaging for trade, for business and for Britain,” says James Hookham, Deputy CEO at FTA. “With no clear solution for what happens next, the risk of a No Deal has risen significantly – and the problems which this would cause of businesses, which now have virtually no time to prepare, would be catastrophic for the UK’s supply chain, on which we all rely.
“Mrs May’s Lancaster House speech, two years ago to the day. promised that frictionless trade would be protected, whatever the outcome of negotiations with the EU: this promise has not materialised. A No Deal would increase delays at the country’s borders, increase red tape and costs for logistics businesses already operating on narrow margins, restrict access for transport to the EU and reduce the available skilled workforce for logistics operators – all problematic on their own, but when viewed together, a perfect storm which could cause untold damage to businesses and individuals right across the country, not just those trading directly with the EU.”
Logistics is a sector at the heart of the UK’s economy: companies directly involved in or highly dependent on logistics, like retail and manufacturing, make up 22% of all UK companies and employ a third of the UK’s workforce. And, as Hookham continues, while it is known as an agile and flexible sector, time is now running out for logistics to make the necessary preparations for a No Deal Brexit:
“As a sector, logistics has been asking government for clarification on key trading areas for the past two years without success. Issues such as how customs declarations are to be made and tariffs collected, the access rights for trailers and UK personnel, and how access is to be granted for vehicles may seem incidental to some, but actually have a huge impact on the way that goods and services are able to flow freely between the UK and its biggest trading partner. Logistics must not and will not be held up as the “whipping boy” for politicians who have failed to take into account the complexity of the supply chain over the past two years. Operators of all sizes are always prepared to go the extra mile to deliver for customers, but without knowing the parameters of the market in which they are and will be working, planning has been almost impossible.
“A no deal Brexit would leave logistics operators facing increased red tape, restrictions to access and to skilled staff, increased delays and rising costs and puts the livelihoods of the hardworking Britons involved in the movement of freight at risk. No one voted for that, and FTA is urging the government once again to reach an agreement with the EU which can keep goods and services flowing with minimal or no hindrance – that is what was promised two years ago, and that is what the industry expects.”