Following high level meetings with Ministers, UKWA is leading a special Advisory Group to propose a series of measures to protect critical supply chains and logistics in order to maintain UK competitiveness in the post-Brexit world.
The scope of this group will be to recommend solutions to the government aimed at preserving direct calls by shipping lines to UK ports, protecting export and import supply chains and avoiding the real risk of the UK becoming marginalised as a result of Brexit.
According to UKWA CEO Peter Ward, the Government has recognised that logistics infrastructure and services are critical to preserving the UK’s manufacturing industry and keeping it competitive in global markets; and that it is essential for our consumer-driven economy to halt any potential ‘drift’ of warehousing and distribution away from UK to mainland Europe.
‘Clearly much depends on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations with regard to the level of access the UK continues to enjoy, or not, with the single market, and the whole sphere of customs duties and taxes on trade to/from Europe and indeed the rest of the world,’ Ward comments. ‘To ensure that the UK remains competitive in a post-Brexit world, there are key issues where Government needs input from our industry, particularly in respect of the logistics infrastructure. As the foremost trade association for the logistics industry, UKWA is leading the campaign to ensure that the voice of our members and of the wider community is heard on this vita issue. ‘
Potential suggestions include allowing all UK ports, especially those with surrounding estates and/or land banks, to operate as ‘Freezones,’ and for occupiers to be granted zero or reduced business rates.
‘Duty free areas for merge in transit logistics and light manufacturing/assembly alongside the creation of export hubs around ports would keep UK manufacturing industry competitive, support exports and protect jobs in the UK. Our aim is to ensure direct calls to UK ports “ which may be at risk post-Brexit – are maintained, while keeping export and import supply chains time and cost competitive,’ says Ward.
‘This is a unique opportunity for the industry to shape Government policy and ensure the interests of the logistics industry “ and the future for UK plc “ are safeguarded.’
UKWA will be joining with other stakeholders, including UK Major Ports Group, British Port Association and the Chamber of Shipping, as well as logistics industry leaders, major manufacturers and retailers, to frame initial ideas for further development early in the new year, in preparation for presentation of proposals to Ministers during the first quarter of 2017.
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