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The Government issues help documents for no-deal

24 August 2018

Technical papers on coping with a no-deal scenarios released by UK Government.

Government expects to negotiate some deal before the deadline but has issued technical guidance to help companies prepare for a possible no-deal outcome.

The technical papers include guidance on ‘Importing and Exporting’.

The Freight Transport Association warned that British business still needs detailed information to ensure that the nation continues to trade efficiently after Brexit. 

It said logistics businesses need workable solutions to aim higher than damage control, and to keep Britain trading.

Sarah Laouadi, FTA's European policy manager said: “No deal would be disastrous for logistics. While preparing for every eventuality, including a no deal position, is a sound strategy, it should not be the end game which negotiators accept. There are clear problems which could face our supply chain if agreements cannot be reached including customs and border arrangements, the continuity of trade agreements and vehicle permits, as well as the continuation of business access to EU workers. Solutions for these areas are key to the continued success of British business, both at home and abroad, after 29 March 2019.”

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal then the repercussions for Europe’s supply chain will be a disaster, said the Road Haulage Association.

The RHA has met with government ministers on many occasions to discuss the needs of UK transport operators and has stressed that the only way to maintain economic links on both sides of the Channel is to continue with the process of free-flowing borders.

If that’s not going to be the case, then a no-deal Brexit will be little more than a nail in the coffin of the industry responsible for moving 98% of the UK economy.

The future for the people and businesses of Kent also looks grim, as within a short period of time the Garden of England becomes the UK’s biggest lorry park, concludes the RHA. 

Government’s no-deal Brexit advice papers ‘are the equivalent of “duck and cover” nuclear warnings’ said Parcelhero.

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT, said: “The advice that people and businesses shipping items to the EU should ‘Engage the services of a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider to help, or alternatively secure the appropriate software and authorisations.’ is reminiscent of Government advice to ‘Use tables if they are large enough to provide you all with shelter’ from 1980’s Protect and Survive government booklet.”

The United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) has called on the Government to adopt new legislation that allows foodstuffs entering the country to be inspected at inland premises – instead of ports - to ease the flow of goods into post-Brexit Britain.

Speaking on the BBC’s Ten O’Clock News programme on August 21st UKWA CEO, Peter Ward, said: “Currently food inspections must be conducted within the port boundary, but after Brexit this will be impractical.”

He continued: “For example, 44 per cent of what the nation eats enters the UK at Dover from the EU. This is the equivalent of 1000 trucks per day through the port on ferries and the tunnel. 

“Inspecting this food in a manner consistent with Rest Of World (ROW) rules from March 2019 is going to present a major challenge. 

“For instance, the port of Dover doesn’t have the necessary plug-in points to power temperature-controlled vehicles, which means the only way to ensure that food remains cool while awaiting inspection will be to keep diesel engines running – which will add cost and impact on the environment.

“The lack of adequate inspection facilities at Ro/Ro ports, such as Dover, will result in unprecedented delays and after Brexit there will simply not be sufficient capacity nor the infrastructure to cope, so an interruption in food supply chains seems inevitable.”

Allowing food inspections to be carried out at inland storage facilities would, UKWA contend, allow existing storage premises to be adapted to accommodate inspection regimes and deliver the necessary extra capacity more quickly.