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Britain’s Exit of the EU Without a Deal Could Interrupt the Logistics Industry

The Freight Transport Association in Northern Ireland says that the effects of an unfavorable or absence of a deal at all during the Brexit could see the association face dire impacts than Britain. Seamus Leheny, the association’s policy manager, says that such a probability would gravely affect all stakeholders in the goods transport sector in addition to the businesses that depend on those goods for their daily transactions.

Earlier this week, the Customs Bill received a controversial amendment that allowed Theresa May, the Prime Minister approve the fact that Northern Ireland and Britain will not have a customs border.

Mr. Leheny further asserted that leaving the European Union without a deal is likely to lead the logistics sector into disarray. Moreover, Northern Ireland stands to lose more than Britain because of the latter’s supply chains. The region heavily relies on shipping their goods to the European agency as opposed to conducting business transactions with Great Britain.

The heavy dependence on trade with EU can be demonstrated by the forms of operator permits used in the regions. As such, in Northern Ireland, twenty-seven percent of operating licenses fall under goods transport outside the UK while goods to GB amount to ten percent in the operating permits.

A study by TII data by Northern Ireland Revenue and Customs indicates that the traffic for commercial goods automobiles across Northern Ireland’s border was about 4,677,772 in 2016. It translates to mean that a total of 12,788 commercial motor vehicles pass across the Irish border daily. The number of vehicles crossing the border has risen by 221.4 percent since 2014.

The figures suggest that the north and south economies are growing heavily dependent on each other because of the intertwining of their supply chains. As such, the absence of a customs border as the amendment proposes could result to unnecessary delays in the transportation of goods which would also lead to additional costs on the part of manufacturers, transporters and the ultimate consumers. The delays and added costs threaten to disrupt the logistics and transport sectors.

The uncertainty that now characterizes these sectors has seen Glyn Roberts, the chief executive of NI Retail appear in Westminster meetings to acquire more details on the customs bill amendment. Mr. Roberts says that attending the sittings does not suggest that there will be another white paper. Thus, the position of Northern Ireland remains unchanged; they want to see supply chain after the Brexit that operates appropriately without increasing costs to the manufacturers, transporters and the consumers.