Yesterday, Theresa May invoked Article 50, which means the formal process of the UK leaving the EU has begun. The outcome of Brexit will have a heavy impact on the way the industry operates. Currently, the industry is filled with speculation of how things will evolve. The British International Freight Association has decided it will assist the Government in discussions on topics such as the possibilities of a free trade agreement or otherwise.
Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), says: “In the run-up to the UK’s eventual exit we will be working with Government to try and ensure that the movement of the UK’s visible import and export trade does not become overburdened by over complicated trade procedures.”
“Clearly there are significant areas of concern for our members, which are responsible for much of the physical movement of that trade, over the eventual outcome, including the physical infrastructure, trade arrangements and Customs practices that will be reviewed as part of the Brexit negotiations.”
“I have already gone on the record to warn about the huge number of pundits offering solutions when nobody knows what is likely to happen in reality.”
“BIFA’s focus now will be presenting the views of our members to the various government departments that we deal with, as well as working with organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry and International Chamber of Commerce to make sure that all parties negotiating the post-Brexit landscape are fully aware of the potential challenges for which they will need to find solutions.”
Having BIFA working with the government for Brexit can only be seen as a positive for the industry and it members. It is evident that BIFA has the experience and understanding of the industry which makes them the perfect advisers to the government on such matters.
The worst possible outcome for the industry would be going back 40 years before the common market to the complexity of the carnets and similarly complex documents required to navigate various European customs points. Hopefully, this can all be avoided, but in the current climate, nothing is certain.
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