The Government must urgently seek an extension to the current transition period for leaving the European Union, as well as suspending other planned domestic legislation which will impact the logistics sector.
The call comes from the FTA, which says it’s not about the relative merits of Brexit, or any trading arrangements which the industry will need to adopt, but to enable the logistics sector to concentrate on the serious issues that the Covid-19 pandemic is placing on the industry.
Policy director Elizabeth de Jong explained: “Logistics is facing unprecedented challenges, both in terms of keeping the UK economy supplied with all the goods it needs to function, as well as coping with the increased disruption to staffing levels caused by sickness and self-isolation and concerns about the viability of their businesses. Our first priority is always to deliver for our customers, and there is simply not enough capacity available to plan the major structural changes needed to implement a successful departure from the EU, as well as the myriad of other planned legislation changes on the horizon, as well as dealing with unprecedented pressures caused by Covid-19.”
The FTA is also asking ministers to consider suspending the implementation of other legislation which will affect logistics operators in the short term, including the imminent arrival of Clean Air Zones in areas including Birmingham and Leeds.
“All this new legislation, and new trading arrangements, need careful planning and implementation in normal circumstances. But it is clear they would bring major change to our sector at a time when we are fully committed to overcoming the challenges which Covid-19 presents,” added de Jong.
She finished: “There is simply not the capacity for planning and delivery of new legislation at present within the system. Covid-19 has created a once-in-a-lifetime emergency situation which needs the full attention of the whole sector – adding in a host of new legislation would place untold, unnecessary pressure on a supply chain that is already stretched. Our industry needs the support of government, not to be broken by it.”