While the result of the Brexit referendum may have taken many by surprise, not just in the UK, but across Europe, there is one very important thing to understand and which seems to have passed a number of people by. Simply because Britain has voted to leave Europe hasn’t changed the geographical location of this “sceptred Isle”. In other words, where freight to Italy, freight Portugal, freight to Spain and freight to Germany is concerned, there will still be a need for express freight services. Very few businesses are going to cut off their nose to spite their face and refused to do business on a point of principle and, if it really were likely to be a case that Britain would become completely ostracised from the rest of Europe, it is highly unlikely that we would have even had a referendum in the first place.
Lloyds Loading List has an interesting article on how the freight industry is digesting the implications of Britain’s a vote to leave Europe, with particular emphasis being paid to new costs, a number of new restrictions and a whole raft of bureaucratic requirements which could be imposed upon moving goods in and out of Europe where Britain was concerned. One area of particular concern and where a great deal of lobbying will be focused is on national customs, and by this we do not mean clog dancing in Holland, we mean cross-border customs. As a company which specialises in express freight shipping, we will be keeping a very close eye on proceedings.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has expressed considerable concern, with its chief executive, David Wells, stating that: “Even though we are coming out of Europe politically, it remains our biggest export market and the supplier of a high proportion of our imports. We cannot allow new bureaucratic burdens to hamper the efficient movement of exports heading for customers and imported goods destined for British consumers.
“The government has two years to ensure the conditions currently imposed on other non-EU member states such as Albania and Serbia are not imposed on UK freight flows. Norway and Switzerland have better arrangements but have accepted tough conditions including the free movement of people, so this will be a difficult negotiation.
“Britain may be out of Europe but it’s not out of business and FTA will be leading the campaign on behalf of exporters and importers to keep trade procedures simple and the costs of international transport down.”
Whether or not the UK would have tariff-free trade with the EU would have to be discussed over the next two plus years, while additional issues would include EU road traffic to and from the Irish Republic via Britain.
Here at Plexus Freight we can’t promise to have all the answers but, as nothing is likely to change for at least two years, should you require any reassurance on the current situation, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.