Brexit: government and industry poles apart

London: A meeting between the government and logistics industry representative was “constructive” according to a government spokesperson and “a wash out “ according to Richard Burnett, chief executive, Road Haulage Association.

The Road Haulage Association said there was “no clarity” from the senior minister on how border checks will operate when the transition period ends after December and that the meeting “fell far short of our expectations”.

Earlier this week, Logistics UK reported a government statement that its new freight management system – designed to reduce delays at ports – will not be ready when the transition period ends.

Burnett said; “The mutually effective co-operation we wanted to ensure seamless border crossings just didn’t happen and there is still no clarity over the questions that we have raised.”

“Although I don’t think we’re quite back at square one, we’re certainly not much further ahead.”

Shane Brennan chief executive, Cold Chain Federation, who also attended the meeting said: “There is no point pretending it’s going to be smooth – we are heading for major delays and disruption – systems are not ready, processes are unclear, awareness of what will be required is low across industry.

“We will need calm heads and a willingness from customs, food and security officials (on the UK and EU side) to make sensible, pragmatic, decisions, probably throughout 2021 as systems bed down and new ways of working emerge.”

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