Brexit keeps logistics companies still in doubt

London, UK: The UK transport and distribution industry continues to remain in doubt after last night parliamentary debates with little resolution of the issues facing the industry as a consequence of Brexit.

“The votes in the House of Commons last night leave logistics and supply chain managers with no greater clarity or confidence about the timing or nature of Brexit,” said James Hookham, deputy chief executive, FTA.

“The risk of a No Deal Brexit on 29 March is just as great this morning as it was yesterday. FTA continues to advise its Members managing UK-EU trade flows to continue preparing accordingly and we are stepping up our advice and services to support them.”

“We are not in the business of politics, we are in the business of keeping Britain trading.” Hookham said.

British companies are likely to speed up plans for a no-deal Brexit in response to Tuesday’s votes in Parliament, said Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the CBI. The plan to renegotiate the UK’s withdrawal deal which the prime minister, Theresa May, proposes, “feels like a real throw of the dice”.

“I don’t think there will be a single business this morning who is stopping or halting their no-deal planning,” Fairbairn said in response to the idea.

“I fear they may even be accelerating it,” she said.

Other business groups endorsed the CBI’s view that Parliament’s opposition to a no-deal Brexit was welcome, while a Northern Ireland business group said there was “despair” that commitments to protect its members’ interests could be removed.

May is expected to seek further talks with EU leaders in the coming days after MPs voted 317 to 301 in favour of replacing the backstop – the insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border in Ireland in the event of no deal.

The backstop is the main objection that Brexiteers in the Conservative party have to the deal negotiated by May which was rejected by MPs earlier this month in the largest defeat for a sitting government in history.

The EU has already said it will not change the legal text of the deal.

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