A selection of European businesses and trade bodies, including the FTA, has called for a Brexit transitionary period to ensure a frictionless customs and trade environment.

The group has urged EU and UK negotiators to put legal and business certainty at the top of their negotiating agenda. It has also called for a seamless transition period after March 2019, which replicates the current trading environment.

It further argued for an economic trading relationship that maintains and improves the ties between the EU and UK.

FTA head of European policy Pauline Bastion said: “This is a global issue and it is very important that the message is well understood.”

She added: “We need a transition period for both parties. Businesses will only be able to adapt once, we need just one change of rules.”

In the statement, published this week, the group said: “Big bang or cliff edge situations must be avoided. They would send costly shock waves through EU trade flows and supply chains that have evolved and flourished over the last forty years.”

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On the other side of the discussion, the RHA this week called on the government to engage with the haulage industry.

Speaking during a discussion at the House of Commons, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “Maintaining efficient movements across the UK/EU borders post Brexit is in everyone’s interest.

"This is the most challenging task the supply chain has ever faced and we have to get it right - first time. Get it wrong and the result will be the permanent imposition of Operation Stack scenarios on the roads to all ferry ports.”

Burnett also called for an automated customs drill, “to ensure duty is paid from day one to avoid border queues - the like of which have never been seen before on either side of the Channel”.


Image: PA News