With less than two months until the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU, FTA has questioned whether the government’s projected spend of £29 million to implement Operation Brock has been made available in time to have an impact in reinforcing the UK’s supply chain and preventing unnecessary delays to transport across Kent. Heidi Skinner, Policy Manager for the South East at the Freight Transport Association (FTA) says:
“The funding commitment for the transport sector is welcome news for a logistics sector charged with keeping Britain trading after Brexit. The logistics industry knows that a No Deal departure from the EU will present significant challenges for the sector, and this investment for the transport network will provide welcome protection for the vital link for the UK’s trading relationships – 17% of the UK’s trade goes through Dover. Whatever the outcome of negotiations, freight will have to adapt, but the transport infrastructure must be robust enough to meet the demands of the supply chain. The logistics industry is already being forced to waste millions of pounds trying to prepare for uncertain future, which the industry was promised would not happen. Due to the lack of progress towards a Brexit deal, the logistics industry has been left waiting for an agreement to frictionless trade.
“With under 10 weeks to go until Brexit there is still considerable work that needs to be done to ensure the county of Kent and country as a whole is ready to handle new trading conditions. UK and overseas drivers need to understand what restrictions they will face, but there has been no communication yet. Freight and logistics firms need information and time to prepare – neither have been given. The logistics industry always does its best to Keep Britain Trading – it is flexible and able to adapt (given notice) but is not, and cannot be, prepared in such a short time to make good the chaos of a no deal Brexit.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.
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