A no-deal Brexit would probably lead to chaos in supply chains triggering panic buying, inflation and job losses, the Freight Transport Association has warned in a letter to prime minister Theresa May ahead of today’s Brexit vote.
MPs are due to discuss the latest version of May’s Brexit deal this afternoon before it goes to a vote this evening.
The FTA letter which is going to all MPs argues that parliament must consider the needs of those tasked with keeping Britain trading and understand the costs and disruption of a no-deal departure.
It highlights four key threats:
- Gridlock caused by the need to implement new customs processes and checks, warning of the possibility of 17 mile tailbacks from Dover
- Immediate acute shortages of perishable foods and vital specialist medicines because they are stuck in traffic jams.
- Further restrictions in the labour market needed to keep Britain trading.
- Severe delays for imports and exports critical to supporting UK manufacturing and retail sectors and the nation’s just-in-time economy.
Deputy chief executive James Hookham said: “Whatever the final outcome of tonight’s vote, and those later this week, the logistics industry needs sufficient time to learn, adapt to and implement the necessary operational processes to comply with the announced procedures. With just over two weeks to go until the UK’s proposed departure from the EU, it is worrying that we still have so much to clarify.”
The letter ends with the stark warning: “Please be under no illusion that a rushed No Deal will halt Britain’s supply chains, and that will have an immediate and lasting impact on the UK economy.”