The country have spoken and voted to leave the EU. Although votes were close there were early indications of a Brexit from various different surveys and polls held across the country, including Returnloads.net's HGV driver survey which showed 84% were going to vote out.
It is still early days to know how the decision to leave the EU will affect us in general and as an industry.
Warnings were given by the FTA regarding the results of the UK referendum regarding restrictions and bureaucratic requirements which will now be given when moving goods in and out of Europe following the UK’s departure from the EU.
If Article 50 is put into action within 2 years negations will take place for updated laws of trade, this will also make a demand for International Road Transports Customs Carnets, which haven’t been used in over 20 years to help with movement of goods across borders.
FTA Chief Executive David Wells stated: “The government has two years to ensure the conditions currently imposed on other non-EU member states such as Albania and Serbia are not imposed on UK freight flows. Norway and Switzerland have better arrangements but have accepted tough conditions including the free movement of people, so this will be a difficult negotiation.
"Britain may be out of Europe but it's not out of business and FTA will be leading the campaign on behalf of exporters and importers to keep trade procedures simple and the costs of international transport down.”
RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett shared his own opinion: “Amongst all this uncertainty one thing is for sure, we’ll be piling the pressure onto ministers to get the best deal for the UK road haulage industry and the vital part it plays in moving the nation’s economy.”
National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, Mike Cherry, spoke regarding the UK leaving the EU and the implications it could have on businesses: “For firms to thrive following departure from the EU they will need to know if the UK still has access to many of the benefits for trade given from the EU such as freedom of movement and trade.”
He pleaded that the government bring stability for businesses who may suffer unknown implications once Article 50 is in place and the UK has officially left the EU.
With a quarter of FSB’s members exporting and a majority exporting within the single market, the Chairman feels answers are needed as soon as possible to identify “clarity over the practical implications of this result and how smaller firms do business”.
A FedEx spokesperson said: “As the process moves forward, we remain committed to serving our customers with effective and reliable service across our global network.”
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the trade body for the UK automotive sector, SMMT said that the government must now maintain economic stability and secure a deal with the EU that will guarantee UK automotive interests.
“This includes securing tariff-free access to European and other global markets, ensuring we can recruit talent from the EU and the rest of the world and making the UK the most competitive place in Europe for automotive investment,” said Hawes.
Richard Newbold, Managing director of Returnloads.net said: “Leaving the EU will certainly have an impact on the haulage industry, fuel prices and the cost to deliver goods will increase in the short time, however with the right trade deals the country can once again become great."
Kevin Buchanan, managing director of Pall-Ex Group said that the business has always felt Britain is stronger in the union – and is concerned about the impact it will have on the supply chain.
“We’re saddened that the majority of people didn’t share our view,” said Buchanan. “We stand firm in our belief that the UK’s supply chain will be deeply affected by the referendum outcome, as it’s always relied on an efficient international logistics network. Jobs, trade and investment are all likely to be impacted.”
Mike Danby, CEO of Advanced Supply Chain, pointed out that being part of the EU brought with it a collective power we needed to make international trade deals. “Britain will now be a smaller international player, up against the US, EU and China in international negotiations. Even though we are a big economy, we’re not anywhere near close to the 500m population of the EU.
“Business is hard enough without unnecessary headwinds, and this is what the result has delivered. My primary concern as ever, is making sure we are prepared for the new trading environment this will deliver – we need to ensure our business and our people continue to thrive.”
Edmund King, OBE, AA said: “Fuel prices will be the biggest immediate concern of drivers with the weaker pound and the Chancellor’s prediction that leaving the EU would lead to fuel duty increases. We will oppose duty increases and continue to monitor the situation on behalf of our members.”