UK launches ‘’Freight and Brexit inquiry.’’

The British government has decided to launch an inquiry to look further into the potential effects to be caused by Brexit on British freight operations. The logistics sector has returned with feedback and undoubtedly will also share strong views on the subject before the public consultation ceases taking opinions on June 8.

A lot of operators in the sector have expressed their worries in the past few months with regards to how the inability to agree on trade terms with EU has started to be problematic for stakeholders. Several projects are pending as operators are waiting for a clear picture of the application of the mechanics and systems post the highly anticipated Brexit.
Chair of the Transport Committee responsible for the inquiry, Lilian Greenwood (MP), put the project into circulation, confirming it with this statement.

“While the agreement of a transitional period to December 2020 is welcome, there remains a great deal of uncertainty for UK freight operators and their customers. The implications of Brexit will vary across freight modes and types of freight. We want the sector to tell us what's worrying them. What is required to make this work?

”We want to cast our evidence-gathering new as wide as possible, then focus on areas where government and industry actions will be most pressing, to prepare for both the challenges and opportunities of Brexit."

Negotiators of UK and EU have agreed to a deal that will help UK to go through a transitional period up until December 2020. For clean delivery of freight in the long term, the pressure is on to determine the demand, and what can be supplied in the available time span. All interested parties across the road, rail, sea and air cargo sectors are now expected to remark their individual needs. However, this inquiry does not involve any border and custom arrangements, trade deals or tariffs as these are outside of Transport Committee’s remit. The Committee instead looks for the moves necessary to identify the opportunities and prepare for the challenges post-Brexit in the industry, especially for possible investments at in transport infrastructure and changes to transport policy and regulations.

The Committee expects written evidence from interested parties with regards to:
The scale and nature of the challenges and opportunities Brexit presents to UK freight companies and their customers
The mode or sector-specific requirements for additional Government funding, or other changes to Government funding plans. This is particularly concerning transport infrastructure, to support the needs of freight.
any new arrangements needed for the licensing, regulation and training of operators and workers in the freight sector after Brexit (including the adequacy of measures set out in the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill)
British International Freight Association (BIFA – for which ETA is a member of) is especially significant to the launched inquiry as its membership includes all the big players in the British freight forwarding industry. Robert Keen, who is the BIFA Director General is propelling the members to participate in the inquiry by providing written evidence asked by the Committee: “As a body that represents the companies that are responsible for the logistics that underpins the UK’s visible trade, BIFA has been very vocal on the many issues arising from Brexit that affect the work of our members.
“The Transport Committee inquiry is offering freight operators and their diverse customers, the opportunity to specify their needs in regards to transport infrastructure. Though the terms of reference are wide, BIFA will be forthcoming about the issues involved, and I hope that our members follow suit.

“I share the opinion of the chair of the Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, who said at the launch of the inquiry that whilst we've heard a lot about customs arrangements, border controls, tariffs and trade deals, we haven't heard enough about transport infrastructure, policy and regulation implications affecting freight operators and their customers. “There remains a great deal of uncertainty for UK freight operators and their customers. The implications of Brexit will vary across freight modes and types of freight. We are being given another chance to reiterate our concerns and tell the Government what is required to keep visible trade moving post-Brexit."