Home >CBI says Government’s delay to Brexit vote is a blow

CBI says Government’s delay to Brexit vote is a blow

11 December 2018

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said: “This is yet another blow for companies desperate for clarity. Investment plans have been paused for two and a half years. Unless a deal is agreed quickly, the country risks sliding towards a national crisis.

“Politicians on both sides of the Channel need to show leadership, by building consensus to protect both the UK and EU’s prosperity. No one can afford to head into Christmas with the threat of no-deal costing jobs and hitting living standards.”

In addition, the Road Haulage Association told French counterparts in Lille that no-deal Brexit preparations are “dire”.

RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett today told French officials at a meeting of French businesses and officials at the Hauts de France regional government headquarters in Lille that planning for road transport in the event of a No-Deal Brexit is “dire” and “simply not robust enough”.

He spelt out the complex customs procedures that would be needed – citing the example of one haulier who has 8,000 different shipments on a lorry – each requiring an import and export declaration and a Safety and Security Declaration. With 3000 trucks a week crossing the channel for that one firm that would mean millions of pieces of paperwork.

Commenting he said: "With each declaration taking 10 minutes you would need 170 people working 8 hours a day to process one load. Customs processes simply won’t work” .

He went on to say that Government assurances that they would relax rules to allow faster movement of lorries “may mean firms are breaking the law by not doing customs paperwork and no responsible firm will want to take that risk.

“It’s critical we keep volume moving in case of a No Deal Brexit and UK haulage businesses are deeply concerned about the lack of clarity and information.”

Earlier the Border Delivery Group claimed although much extra customs paperwork will be needed – it’s hoped it can be done away from the border to avoid queues – they recognise the challenges but will prioritise flow and fluidity. They claim considerable preparation work had been done on contingency planning. Richard Burnett countered that those plans were “simply not robust enough”.