Brexit impact

Freight transport group highlights drive to single market access

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The FTA has highlighted 10 priorities for life after Brexit
The FTA has highlighted 10 priorities for life after Brexit

Related tags: Single market, European union

Access to the single market and the ability to hire non-UK drivers are the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA’s) top priorities after Brexit. 

Its recent survey revealed  64% of the FTA’s international haulage members viewed the short-term prospects for their businesses with pessimism. Only half thought Britain’s exit from the European Union would make things worse in the long term.

Many of the FTA’s international haulage members agreed it was too early to make a precise judgment, until the new deal with the EU has been agreed.

The FTA’s top three priorities were continued full access to the single market; tariff-free access for goods and the preservation of access to the single market for services.

Hire non-UK drivers

FTA’s top three priorities

  • Full access to single market
  • Tariff-free access for goods
  • Access to single market for services

Members also wanted to retain the ability to hire non-UK drivers, who would have the right to work in both the UK and in the single market.

The association’s EU affairs manager Chris Yarsley said: “With the UK’s current driver shortage, it’s no surprise that labour mobility issues are at the forefront of international transport businesses minds. This is certainly something FTA will be pressing the government to prioritise this when the negotiations begin.

“These results reflect the fact that companies prefer certainty to the unknown, which is where we find ourselves at the moment. 

‘Face the challenge head-on’

“However, FTA and its members are ready to face the challenge head-on and engage with government to obtain the best possible deal so that UK operators can continue to deliver the goods, no matter where they are.”

The lobby group identified the top 10 topics for the logistics industry linked to Brexit. Those were: access to the single market; border controls; customs arrangements; domestic transport legislation; enforcement of cross border traffic; fuel duty: global markets and investment in transport; Heathrow and airport capacity and Ireland. 

Meanwhile, Abbey Logistics recently revealed ambitious growth plans. Read details in the box below.

Abbey Logistics to expand despite Brexit

Freight and warehousing company Abbey Logistic said it was confident it can continue its expansion into Europe despite the UK’s controversial decision to quit the EU.

The business recently purchased 10 ISO tank containers to add to its existing fleet of bulk intermodal silos, which transport foodstuffs from France to the UK. The company has been growing its volumes with customers based in continental Europe and predicted Brexit would not brake its ambitious growth plans.

The firm’s md Steve Granite said: “Continental Europe has long been a market place we planned to grow into and despite Brexit. We are still confident that with our existing and new clients we can increase our share of the Europe-UK market.

“We strongly expect to be increasing our intermodal container fleet over the coming years as we become more competitive in this market and win new business.”

Abbey has expanded from £18M turnover in 2009 to £45M, according to its latest set of accounts to June 2015. By 2020, the company planned to increase its turnover to £70M.

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