It’s been a hectic few days and weeks regarding Brexit.

Like most transport and haulage professionals we’ve been keeping a close eye on the latest Brexit updates for the haulage, HGV, logistics and supply chain industries.

You can read our first Brexit update here and our November update here.

Here are the latest questions and debates:

 


Logistics’ response 

 

The Freight Transport Association has responded positively to the July Brexit White Paper. The FTA felt that the paper was a positive sign that the challenge faced by supply chain firms to keep UK shops, businesses and manufacturers stocked on a daily basis was taken into account.

But despite this positive start, the FTA is still calling the government to clarify plans on custom agreements and set rules for skilled EU workers living in the UK. Over 4,500 HGV drivers are from Europe and the UK freight transport industry is already facing a skilled driver shortage. 

The FTA is therefore asking the government for an answer on the eight key trading points that the association put forward.

The Road Haulage Association – on the other hand – doesn’t feel that discussions have progressed far or fast enough. The chief executive commented that movement for HGVs is still unclear and calls for mutual recognition of operator licenses between the UK and EU block.

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has mixed feelings about the paper. The Director General agrees that there are some positives for logistics and haulage companies, but the fact remains that the White Paper is a proposal and not a reality.

On a slightly more positive note, freight representatives believe the Northern Ireland border question has progressed from the initial standstill that we mentioned in our last haulage news update.

The full response of the FTA can be read on UK Haulier, while the RHA’s reaction is here and you can read BIFA’s full reaction here.

 


Construction’s response

Workforce woes

It’s reported that many construction SMEs are facing severe skill shortages. According to the Federation of Master Builders, 60% of construction firms are missing experts in bricklaying and carpentry.

Broaching the skills gap was previously achieved via outsourced workers from various EU countries. 9% of the UK’s construction workforce comes from the EU.

However, the latest Brexit discussions are causing concerns. The Federation of Master Builders is therefore calling for clarity on EU migrant’s work rights in the UK after Brexit, as this isn’t clearly addressed in the July paper.

The full story can be read on Specification Online.

In the meantime, the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) is calling for a two-track strategy to meet the estimated additional 158,000 job vacancies in construction. The strategy includes securing skilled EU workers in the UK and training up the domestic workforce to meet the skill needs of the construction industry.

Material concerns

 UK Construction Online has raised concerns over the access to construction material with the current White Paper’s proposal. A shortage of construction material is feared, which would have an impact across the country and is feared to further the housing crisis.

 


Food And Drink Industry Reacts

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) joins the mixed feelings camp on the paper. The recognition of frictionless trade being required has been welcomed by the federation, but the detail of how this will work is concerning for the industry. The proposed authorised economic operator (AEOs) system would currently exclude 131,000 businesses according to the HRC.

 The FDF is calling for access to the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) to continue, as well as the existing relationship with the European Food Safety Authority. Find out more about the federation’s response here

It’s reported that the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) approves of the Excise and VAT practices outlined in the paper, but like the FDF is calling for more detail and certainty. The full response from BBPA can be read on The Drink Business website

 


The above is a selection of the latest reactions across a variety of transport and logistic industries. Until further news on Brexit plans come in, it remains business as usual.

If you’re looking to hire additional trailers to meet the peaks and troughs of demand, we have a variety of flat, extendable, curtain and curtain double deck trailers available here.

Call Neil today on 01924 420 646 for full details.