The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has launched its Brexit manifesto, which urges the UK Government to retain barrier-free and 'frictionless' access to the EU market.
The manifesto has been issued ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May triggering Article 50 next month, which begins the formal process of the UK’s departure from the European Union.
The manifesto brings together the views of the FTA's 16,000 members and covers those areas which the industry believes are vital to ensure that international trade with Europe, and other regions of the world, continues to "flourish and grow”.
James Hookham, the FTA’s deputy chief executive, said: “Britain has always been a trading nation and we are firmly behind the Prime Minister's vision of a global Britain post-Brexit, with strong international relationships both inside and outside the European Union.
“We believe that the logistics industry has a key role to play in ensuring that Britain’s new trading relationships are as efficient and effective as possible and urge May and her team to ensure that the Brexit agreement they secure will enable our members to provide the service that industry so desperately needs, without excessive border delays or bureaucratic red tape.”
Exports to the EU from the UK currently represent 48% of the nation’s output and with such a key market at stake, the FTA is calling on Government to retain barrier-free and "frictionless" access to the EU market post-Brexit.
Hookham continued: “It is crucial that trade with the EU remains as seamless as possible, both on the continent and in Ireland. Delays at borders and customs checks must be kept to a minimum to ensure that freight can flow freely between nations to the benefit of manufacturers, retailers and consumers, both in the UK and overseas.”
With the UK’s logistics sector currently turning over £1 trillion annually, and contributing more than £121 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy, FTA is calling on the Government to ensure that the trading environment post-Brexit is as supportive as possible to the industry.
“Our members, who manage, operate and consign the majority of road, rail, sea and air freight to and from the UK, need assurances that taxation on the sector, in the form of fuel duty, will be cut by 3p per litre to encourage increased trading opportunities,” continued Hookham.
“The industry employs 2.54 million people in the UK and it is crucial that our members continue to have access to the best skills, wherever they come from. And finally, we call on the Government to ensure that, whenever possible, opportunities for regulatory simplification are properly assessed before implementation, and there should be a smooth transition before any changes come into force.”