British industry needs positive movement to keep trading, says FTA

Wednesday 07 February 2018

With less than 300 working days to go until the UK leaves the European Union, the Freight Transport Association is urging government to take decisive steps to agree the format and parameters of Britain’s future trading relationships with its European neighbours, to ensure that the country can continue to trade efficiently after Brexit.

The Association, which represents more than 16,000 businesses involved in all sectors of the UK’s logistics industry, has today (7 February 2018) written to Prime Minister Theresa May requesting swift agreement on the format and timescales for the UK’s future trading relationships with Europe, to enable British businesses to plan for a seamless transition to new trading and customs arrangements.

“British businesses have heard enough talking – what’s needed now is a concrete solution to enable all those involved in moving goods and services across the UK’s borders to plan with certainty for a post-Brexit future,” says James Hookham, the FTA’s deputy CEO.  “The time for discussions is over – what the country’s businesses need now is action, to keep trading Britain trading without penalty or hindrance.  

“FTA’s membership, of more than 16,000 logistics suppliers, needs confirmation – on the length and nature of the transition period and the arrangements for trade during that time; on whether the UK will continue to benefit from current EU trading agreements during the transition; the nature and scale of customs arrangements and tariffs to be used; the status of EU workers within the UK; where and how will tariffs and certifications be implemented,  and which documentation will be required for drivers and vehicles.”

Today’s (7 February 2018) Haulage Permits & Trailer Registration Bill, which begins its process through parliament this afternoon, should provide some clarity for logistics operators on the nature and scope of the permits they will be required to obtain from May 2019, which will enable vehicles to continue to move freely across the UK’s borders.  However, the outcomes of the bill still have to be agreed with Michel Barnier’s team at the European Parliament, in order to ensure that the EU27 will adhere to the UK’s proposed solutions for cross-border traffic.

“Businesses should only have to change their trading procedures once,” concludes Mr Hookham.  “The clock is ticking and contracts are already being negotiated for dates beyond Brexit day in 2019.  Leaving the logistics industry in limbo will cost the economy – and consumers – money, and no one voted to be poor as a result of the Brexit referendum.   It’s time for the government to make the decisions which will keep Britain trading successfully.”

Businesses interested in discussing the very latest developments in the Brexit negotiations, and finding out how to prepare for trading conditions once the UK leaves the European Union, should attend the FTA’s second Keep Britain Trading Conference, which is to be held in mid-May in central London.  For more information, please visit FTA Events or email  

With Brexit, technology and other disruptive forces driving changes in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK PLC.  As champions and challengers, FTA is the only organisation representing the entire logistics industry, speaking on behalf of its 16,000 members from all sectors of the industry.  FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, greatly increasing the impact of its messages and achieving amazing results for Members. 

The FTA is the only organisation in the UK that represents all of logistics, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. 


FTA Press Office

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