U.K. freight haulers demand action on Brexit preparations

by The Associated Press (APR)

LONDON – British freight haulers and storage companies are asking for an urgent meeting with government leaders because of concern that gaps in preparations for Brexit may threaten supplies of critical goods.

Trade associations representing the companies have written to Michael Gove, the minister overseeing Britain’s exit from the European Union, saying that improvements to border posts and computer systems are behind schedule.

The groups say that if the issues are not addressed, “disruption to U.K. business and the supply chain that we all rely so heavily on will be severely disrupted.”

More than 40 years of free trade with the EU will end Jan. 1 after an 11-month transition period that followed Britain’s formal departure from the bloc earlier this year.

The trade groups, including the UK Warehousing Association, Logistics UK and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, said the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a supply chain that works properly.

“With transition occurring at the same time as a potential second COVID spike, it is critical we ensure the supply chain is protected,” they said.