Preparing for a no-deal Brexit – a roundup of latest industry news

  • brexit, eu, flag, puzzleIt’s been a few months since we last posted about Brexit, so with the countdown well and truly on until the 31st October deadline, we thought we’d share a roundup of the latest industry news.

    So, what’s been happening in the world of Brexit and politics, and how might it impact the logistics and warehousing industry?

    New transport secretary announced

    Boris Johnson appointed Grant Schapps as the new transport secretary [1]. So, what can we expect from the Tory MP for Welwyn Hatfield?

    Schapps is a big advocate of the expansion of Heathrow airport – which perhaps doesn’t come as a surprise given that he’s a pilot himself. He’s also a supporter of HS2 with Sajid Javid there alongside him. Rail is another area of interest as well as infrastructure projects across the UK – he’s also chair of the British Infrastructure Group of Parliamentarians (BIG) [2]. The level of Schapps influence is yet to be revealed…

    £2.1 billion no-deal Brexit funding

    The government announced that they’ve allocated £2.1 billion for ‘no-deal’ Brexit preparations ahead of 31st October [3]. The funding is there to support border and customs operations as well as keeping supply and demand running smoothly [3].

    According to Logistics Manager, £434 million will help with medical supplies, “including through freight capacity, warehousing and stockpiling”. Meanwhile, £344 million has been allocated to support border operations. Further budget has been allocated to help prepare businesses for a no-deal Brexit [3]. But the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is less than impressed…

    The FTA responds to funding announcement

    Following the government’s funding announcement, the FTA responded with concerns that the allocated amount isn’t enough for the level of disruption that’s likely to come in the case of ‘no-deal’. James Hookham, Deputy Chief Executive at FTA commented:

    “The government’s No Deal funding for business, announced today (1 August 2019), falls well short of what will be required to ensure that all those organisations which currently trade with the EU will be able to continue operating smoothly and efficiently in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. 5% of the fund allocated by the Treasury today equates to only £745 per business – far less than will be needed for each business to understand and implement the procedures, staff and systems required for routine No Deal trading. [4]

    There’s further criticism from the FTA that the government isn’t doing enough to prepare businesses in the case of a no-deal Brexit [6].

    Their recommendation? Businesses in the logistics and warehousing industry, both in the UK and internationally, should take steps to plan for a no-deal Brexit if they want to keep operations running smoothly [4].

    Road Haulage Association (RHA) concerned about lack of time

    While the RHA is more welcoming of the funding, they’ve also shared concerns about the amount of preparation needed in such a short amount of time [3]. RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett commented:

    “This is big picture and what we badly need is detail. We need a complete, practical how-to guide to ensure traders know what they have to do to get across the borders after Brexit. [7]

    Yellowhammer report leaked

    The government’s Yellowhammer report has added further concern to the mix. The classified document which lays out the possible outcomes of a no-deal Brexit has revealed the likely consequences of a no-deal Brexit – and it isn’t looking pretty with mention of fuel, food and medicine shortages [8]. And that’s only part of it [9].

    One thing’s certain – the 31st October is fast approaching and with a no-deal Brexit looking ever more likely, the government is under increasing pressure to provide the necessary support. The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) document ‘What comes next? The business analysis of no deal preparations’, lays out recommendations to help with preparations in the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit [5]. It’s time to buckle up and get prepared.











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