FTA warning on Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill

Tunbridge Wells, UK: FTA has welcomed the vote to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the House of Commons as “encouraging news for the sector”, but is warning its members that this is not the end of the process to protect the UK’s trading relationships with the EU.

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which passed its second reading by 358 votes to 234, is now on track to complete its passage through both houses of parliament in time to allow Brexit to take place to at the end of January.

However, FTA warned that the process of ratification of the withdrawal agreement was not complete yet.

“While the prospect of a no-deal Brexit on 31 January is now unlikely, there is tangible risk that the UK might leave the transition period at the end of 2020 without a free trade agreement in place, or with an agreement which does not deliver frictionless trade,” said FTA.

“We call on the Government to prioritise the smooth flow of goods and to focus on minimising frictions, red tape and costs during the negotiations on the future relationship,” the association said.

“Ensuring logistics is involved every step of the way, from the definition of the negotiating mandate to implementation of new rules is the best way of ensuring that the new trade and transport arrangements will work in practice and allow logistics to Keep Britain Trading. As the voice of logistics, we stand ready to do just this.”

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