UK forwarders have mixed feelings over government's Brexit plan

13 / 07 / 2018

UK freight forwarder association BIFA has warned that the government's Brexit white paper outlining the proposed future relationship with the European Union (EU) is not set in stone and could be complex to implement.

BIFA said the white paper addresses some of the issues that it has highlighted over the past two years,  including retaining something as close to the Single Market and Customs Union as is possible, with positive ideas on future Customs matters and international trading arrangements.

“But we have to remember that nothing in the white paper is cast in stone," said BIFA director general Robert Keen.

“The proposals on Customs, where the UK is proposing to apply EU tariffs to EU goods passing through the UK, while having the freedom to set different tariffs on goods entering the UK, look complex and untested, something that has already seen negative comment from the EU.

“Other than a facilitated customs arrangement, I suspect that there will be other areas where there will be differences of opinion between the UK and EU.

“Notwithstanding the above, it is the most comprehensive and cogent proposal put forward by the UK Government to date and is a useful basis for negotiation with the EU.

“However, we need to be realistic. It still has to get through parliament, even before the negotiations in Brussels.”

The white paper was issued yesterday and has been met with mixed reaction from business and logistics groups, although most seem to suggest the proposal is at least a step in the right direction and shows some progress.

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