UK Logistics request Brexit extension
Updated 27 March 2020. You can read our original news item here UK Logistics request extension to Brexit transition period
The British International Forwarding Association (BIFA) has added its voice to that of The Freight Transport Association (FTA) calling on the UK government to request an extension to the Brexit transition period. The FTA says focus must be on the UK supply chain functioning in the face of COVID-19. BIFA suggest it would be “irresponsible” to refuse to ask for an extension,
The transition period ends on 31 December 2020 and will require a large scale change in the way cross border trade with the EU functions with a direct impact on transportation. Both the FTA and BIFA have been vocal in spelling out the practical challenges ahead for logistics related to Brexit and seeking urgent government clarification on detailed border processes for their members.
Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at the FTA says “This is purely and simply so the businesses tasked with keeping the UK’s supply chain intact can concentrate on the serious issues which the COVID-19 pandemic is placing on the industry”
Robert Keen, Director General at BIFA says “The government is still insisting it will not request an extension, saying the December 31st deadline is enshrined in law, but whilst Boris Johnson might insist that Brexit is done, we know from our regular meeting with government departments that there is a huge amount left in the civil service’s EU exit in-trays, and everybody is completely overwhelmed with the crisis.”
Read the full FTA press release here
Read the full BIFA press release here
Meanwhile, the wheels of Brexit process grind on.
The government press on with Brexit preparations. The Guardian reported on 25 March a government aide said “if someone is working on something else [ other than coronavirus], they are doing something wrong”. It seems someone is then doing something wrong, both in Westminster and Brussels.
On Monday 30 March the first meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee will take place. The EU issued its agenda and are making plans for the meeting via video conference.