Britain’s recent vote in favour of leaving the European Union is predicted to impact all parts of the UK economy, and the logistics industry is no exception. With a majority of those surveyed as…
Britain’s recent vote in favour of leaving the European Union is predicted to impact all parts of the UK economy, and the logistics industry is no exception. With a majority of those surveyed assessing the short-term outlook of their prospects negatively – in light of Brexit – and half of all surveyed sharing a similar outlook for the long term, it is vital that the FTA acts in favour of the country’s haulage workers. They have identified a few priorities that they consider key to the health of the industry as negotiations move forward.
The Single Market
With an EU import-export market valued at £360 billion, much of the UK’s economy is heavily reliant on European markets, and haulage work is no exception. In fact, with many HGVs being used to cover continental distances, it is especially important to the logistics industry that the UK be allowed access to the Single Market.
As the UK’s logistics industry continues to face a skills gap that shows no signs of closing soon, the ability to hire haulage workers from overseas is currently one of the only ways in which the industry may be able to weather the storm. Such hiring would, of course, depend on the right for EU citizens to live and work in the UK. Additionally, a UK-specific customs deal would have to be worked out in order to avoid constant tailbacks and implementation of Operation Stack due to the bottleneck that the Dover-Calais crossing would become. Such border crossing difficulties would also apply to the Republic of Ireland, as, without special legislation, vehicles travelling to mainland Europe would have to cross out of the EU and then immediately back in again.
Air Travel Links
Expansion of existing airports will be required in order to forge global trade links. For this reason, the FTA supports the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
In order to operate outside of EU legislation, a huge amount of transport legislation will need to be rewritten. Currently, much of it refers to EU laws, which will no longer be required when article 40 is invoked. Therefore, it will have to be decided which parts of the legislation should stay and what needs to be changed, and the laws will have to be rewritten accordingly. Moreover, it will need to be made clear how the rule changes will affect haulage work – especially work that occurs both in the EU and in the UK. The FTA has also called for a slashing of fuel duty in order to boost the economy and allow the UK’s logistics industry to compete in a post-EU landscape.
The FTA plans to continue to advocate for the haulage industry as negotiations continue. They are also calling for increased membership, in order to strengthen their platform and better influence proceedings.