International Trade Secretary Liam Fox’s acknowledgement that the country “does not want a no deal” situation from the Brexit negotiations has been applauded by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the country’s largest membership organisation which represents more than 16,000 businesses.
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme last week, Mr Fox was positive in his assertion that the country needs a “full and comprehensive deal” because it would be good for Britain and for “the workers of Europe and their economy”. However, FTA has urged caution over his position that a free-trade agreement with the EU “should be one of the easiest in human history” to achieve as the UK currently has “zero tariffs and maximum regulatory equivalence”, since this would assume that the EU negotiation team would not consider introducing new legislation on the departure of the UK.
FTA also applauds Mr. Fox for his commitment to the WTO and Free Trade in his speech to the Graduate Institute in Geneva yesterday. “Mr Fox is to be applauded for his positive attitude towards international trade after Brexit,” says James Hookham, FTA Deputy Chief Executive. “Our members have been keen to see the UK taking agile steps to adopt a portfolio of methods to help trade, such as mutual recognition agreements, ministerial dialogues, trade working groups and greater cross-border facilitation.
“FTA has strongly supported the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which helps to reduce the bureaucracy faced by companies at borders, saving them crucial money and time. For Mr Fox to recognise the value of this agreement is a great achievement for the work that the Association has been doing.”
FTA’s members operate more than 200,000 lorries – almost half of the UK fleet – as well as consigning 70% of the nation’s visible air and sea exports, and delivering more than 90% of the freight moved by rail. As Mr Hookham continues, trade is such an important part of the British economy that it is imperative that relationships with partners across Europe and the rest of the world are protected to enable the economy to flourish.
“Mr Fox stated that the UK will remain a member of the World Trade Organisation post-Brexit,” he continued, “which is excellent news for those operating import/export businesses, since it will protect their current business arrangements. We look forward to working with the government to strengthen the UK’s ties with its overseas business partners, to keep trade flowing across borders and maintain the buoyancy of the UK economy.”
Source: Uk Haulier