With the UK’s exit from the European Union now less than 18 months away, the role of an efficient logistics sector in delivering a healthy Welsh economy has been recognised by the inclusion of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) at the first meeting of a new Welsh working group.
The working group, assembled by the Welsh Economy Secretary Ken Skates, comprises representatives of key business influencers from across the region, has been established to focus on the impact that the UK’s exit from the EU will have on the business sector in Wales. Those businesses involved, drawn from the Council for Economic Development, include business representatives, as well as those from the Welsh TUC and Wales Co-op.
“FTA’s inclusion in this new working group is a welcome recognition of how important supply chain arrangements are to the future prosperity of Wales, and to the UK as a whole,” says Chris Yarsley, FTA’s Policy Manager – Brexit. “With so much uncertainty surrounding Brexit, particularly surrounding customs arrangements, tariffs and freedom of movement, it is vital that all interested parties are given an opportunity to debate the issues involved, and work through the ramifications for decisions with those who will be expected to maintain supply chain continuity as the changes take place.
“FTA’s membership, which includes more than 16,000 businesses nationwide, is committed to ensuring that the nation can continue trading seamlessly with partners in Ireland and further afield, and it is now up to the Welsh and central governments to ensure that those issues raised in the working group can be fully costed and implemented as we all work together towards an efficient Brexit.
“At yesterday’s FTA Transport Manager conference in Newport, many of the delegates raised concerns about how Brexit could potentially impact their businesses, concerns which we are keen to raise at the next meeting of this working group. As far as FTA is concerned, it is imperative that the Welsh administration takes urgent steps to ensure that business is not unfairly penalised by a lack of adequate planning to ensure that trade continues to flow through Wales to and from the mainland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We look forward to working through the areas of concern with our colleagues in the working group over the coming months, to ensure businesses have adequate time to react and adapt to new trading conditions.”