FTA welcomes postponement of potential ‘cliff-edge’ UK departure from EU but says this remains the default if no agreement is reached by 31 October
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is urging logistics firms and cargo owners to continue preparing for a no-deal Brexit, despite the decision by European Union leaders this week to grant the UK a six-month ‘flextension’ to 31 October on its departure date from the EU.
Commenting on the latest UK-EU Brexit developments, FTA’s head of global and European policy Pauline Bastidon said: “FTA welcomes the fact that the potential ‘cliff edge’ of a no-deal departure from the EU has been postponed for now and is grateful for the extra preparation time the agreed extension offers to our members.
“While the risk of ‘no deal’ has receded for now, it is an outcome which cannot be excluded further down the line - indeed, it remains the legal default, in the absence of alternative arrangements.
“FTA is therefore calling on its members to use this extra time wisely. The association, which speaks for the logistics industry, will keep pushing for the best outcome for the sector, while continuing to support its members in their preparations and remaining vigilant should the situation change.”
As reported today in Lloyd’s Loading List work began last night to remove the ‘Operation Brock’ contraflow system for UK international lorries on the M20 motorway in Kent, put in place to help manage the anticipated massive disruption to UK-EU international road freight transport in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March.
Following this week’s decision to grant the UK a six-month extension to 31 October on its departure date from the EU,UK road body Highways England confirmed yesterdaythat work began last night “to remove the contraflow on the London bound carriageway – part of what is known as Operation Brock – and is due to be completed in time for the Easter getaway next weekend”.
It said the decision was taken “in the light of the reduced threat of disruption to services across the English Channel in the coming weeks and has been endorsed by the Kent Resilience Forum.
However, Highways England said thesteel barrier on the London-bound carriageway will remain in case the system is required in the coming months, as part of `’new resilience measures for people living, working and travelling in the county”.