After the Conservative party fell eight seats short of an overall majority, resulting in a hung parliament in the general election, the FTA has called for a new government to review its decision to leave the EU customs union.
James Hookham, deputy CEO at the FTA, said that leaving the customs union “threatens the imposition of tariffs, border checks, Customs declarations and huge amounts of bureaucracy” for logistics firms and their customers that trade in the EU.
“Negotiating a replacement trade deal that avoids these would require a strong and convincing mandate, which the election has now put into doubt,” Hookham said. “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.”
According to the FTA, 44% of the UK’s exports were transported to the EU last year at a value of £240bn.
Hookham added: “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.”