One of the UK’s biggest business groups, FTA, has today (30 April 2020) launched its Northern Ireland Protocol Policy Report, a document to highlight the key measures its members from across the logistics sector believe are needed to keep trade between Northern Ireland (NI) and Great Britain (GB) moving as efficiently as possible once the Brexit transition period concludes on 31 December 2020.
Seamus Leheny, Policy Manager for Northern Ireland at FTA comments: “Logistics is an adaptable and resilient industry; we are determined to make a success of the protocol and this report is designed to assist government in this shared ambition. The protocol puts NI in the unique position of being able to trade freely with the UK and EU while protecting all island supply chains on the Island of Ireland, however, we must ensure NI businesses are not disadvantaged within the UK internal market by any burdensome financial or practical barriers to this trade. In FTA’s Report, we set out the agreed text of the protocol and detail how we believe this will translate into the practical movement of goods between NI and GB under the new, post-transition UK-EU relationship.
“We have launched the report today (30 April 2020) to coincide with the next official government meeting on the protocol; it is vital the government listens to the guidance of industry and understands the measures it should take to keep goods moving as efficiently as possible.”
Within the document, FTA also outlines the measures its members believe government should take to grow NI-GB trade in the future, in addition to protecting current trade; it also highlights existing trade flows and volumes and identifies the actions needed to ensure the continued efficient movement for those freight movements.
“Flexible, frictionless trade between NI and GB is vitally important to the continued success of our economy,” continues Mr Leheny, “and the logistics industry is committed to protecting supply chains and continuing to move goods across the Irish Sea as seamlessly as possible. Northern Ireland’s future prosperity depends on the protocol being implemented with minimum disruptions and we stand ready to work with both Stormont and Westminster to ensure that NI’s businesses and trade remain as resilient as possible in the coming months and years.”
FTA is one of the UK’s leading business organisations, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and the more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. FTA supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, please visit www.fta.co.uk