We have been pondering an article written recently by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and with Brexit talks now officially commenced we think it reflects our sentiments on the current situation quite well.

Post-election results and post the recent challenging events the UK has faced, is there be a softening on our stance towards Brexit?  Do we want to be friends with our European neighbours again?  Do we even have the energy or will for a hard Brexit as the government originally seemed to propose?  One cannot underestimate the effects of a hard Brexit on International supply chains and we here at Jordon are already discussing contingency plans on behalf of our clients should we exit the customs union completely

If anyone will be prepared you can be assured Jordon will be.  We have appointed a Brexit champion in-house who will be discussing the challenges with our clients and offering the best solutions as more information is revealed over the coming months.  You can be sure though it will be a very messy run up to Brexit.  In the meantime here’s the article in full from the FTA written on 9/6/17, see what you think.  The Jordon Team.

“This morning, UK exporters and importers are waking thinking what does the election result mean for Brexit, and the potential impact on my supply chains,” said James Hookham, FTA’s Deputy CEO. “After four weeks of campaigning for the General Election, vital time has been lost to prepare for the crucial Brexit negotiations. It is now imperative that that the new government focuses its efforts on supporting the logistics sector to ensure that business can continue to trade efficiently with our EU customers and suppliers.

“Exiting the customs union threatens the imposition of tariffs, border checks, Customs declarations and huge amounts of bureaucracy for the significant number of UK businesses that trade in the EU, and the logistics organisations that deliver it for them. Negotiating a replacement trade deal that avoids these would require a strong and convincing mandate, which the Election has now put into doubt. The importance of frictionless arrangements for UK trade with the EU, particularly with Ireland, means that the decision to leave the customs union should be reviewed as a matter of urgency, and other ways of achieving a positive outcome for Brexit should now be considered.

Approximately 44% of the UK’s exports in goods and services were transported to the EU in 2016, valued at £240 billion out of £550 billion of the country’s total exports. And as Hookham continues, it is imperative that the government prioritises the continued success of the nation’s trading arrangements now that the election is concluded.

“In order to ‘Keep Britain Trading’, exporters and importers and the international logistics sector need trading conditions which are as seamless and easy to navigate as possible. The decision to leave the EU Customs Union was always going to make this tough to deliver, and without a strong and convincing mandate, the government will find fulfilling its promise to do so almost impossible. The delivery of a seamless trading process between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, in particular has confounded even the best trade and legal experts, and needs to be an urgent priority for government ahead of the start of Brexit negotiations.”

“FTA is the leading voice for logistics on Brexit and is urging Government to place the sector at the heart of the country’s asks when the talks begin in ten days time. Our members agree that the government’s aim of delivering a frictionless trade deal for British business outside of the Customs Union has now become much more difficult than before the Election. We are therefore calling for a rethink of that decision, and for other options to be considered in which Brexit can be delivered whilst reducing the impact on British exporters and importers and the international logistics businesses that deliver the UK economy. Logistics is key to the successful delivery of the nation’s ongoing economic success and must be front and centre as the talks get under way.”

http://www.fta.co.uk/media_and_campaigns/press_releases/2016/20170609-fta-urges-customs-rethink.htmllients should we exit the customs union.