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FTA comments on Michael Gove speech

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UK businesses that trade with Europe need to prepare for “significant change” with “inevitable” border checks for “almost everybody” Deputy Prime Minister said in a speech today.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the detail in the speech. Elizabeth de Jong, FTA’s UK Policy Director said: “Today’s announcements about the UK’s future relationship with Europe provide more much-needed clarity for logistics operators, and his assertion that there will be no extension to the transition period gives businesses a finite deadline to which to work.  The news of funding to help industry prepare for operation outside the EU is certainly welcome, whatever the outcome of the negotiations.

“Mr Gove put to rest Sajiv Javid’s assertion that industry had plenty of time to prepare.  It is encouraging for industry that he said he does not underestimate what needs to be done and that he has his civil servants focussed on capturing and providing industry with the details we need, we hope within the timeframes we need to prepare.

“As representatives of the logistics industry, we are naturally disappointed that the promise of frictionless trade has been replaced with a  promise that trade will be as seamless as possible but not until 2025, with a more realistic but costly “make do and mend” approach to be employed until then.  Industry will need the support of government during this period to Keep Britain Trading effectively.

Efficient logistics is vital to keep the UK 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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