Monday, November 19, 2018

As Brexit Discussions Intensify so Freight and Logistics Veteran backs the Government

Warehousing Association Boss Urges Members to Persuade MPs to Support May
Shipping News Feature
UK – Peter Ward, CEO of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) has thrown his weight behind the government’s latest Brexit deal and urged his organisation's members to contact their MPs and follow suit. Ward, who last week was appointed to the board of the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) has a wealth of experience in the field with over 30 years' experience in international transportation, logistics and supply chain management and has held senior positions with Fritz Companies, P&O Nedlloyd Logistics and DP World London Gateway, before joining the UKWA four years ago.

Established in 1935, the IOE&IT offers a range of services designed to support companies involved in importing, exporting and international trade, while UKWA represents over 700 companies operating in the warehousing and logistics sector and Ward explained his conviction that the deal currently on the table would be the best option for the UK, saying:

“While recognising that the withdrawal agreement tabled by the Government is not perfect and includes areas of compromise, if this is the mechanism that allows us to get over the line into a transition agreement, we welcome it.

“The PM is in an impossible position in trying to carry everyone with her, but the alternative of no deal is unthinkable. The country has spoken and leave means leave, as the PM has repeatedly said. However, from a business perspective it is vital that we have enough time to plan for transition. Furthermore, it is important to remember that this is not the final outcome but a strategic step forward. As ever, the devil will be in the mass of detail that follows, and these negotiations are hugely complex. The key achievement now will be to move the country forward towards transition.

"Our message to UKWA members, and to the wider business community, is that it is business that will drive the economy, and business must ensure that our message is heard. I urge members to contact their MPs and express support for Mrs May’s proposed deal in order to keep our economy going and the transition process moving forward. Those politicians expressing entrenched positions based on ideology alone need to be balanced by those with a pragmatic view and an understanding of the true impact of Brexit on business.

"This is a huge responsibility, not just for the UK Government, but for businesses too. Business needs this transition in order to achieve an orderly exit from the EU.”

Meanwhile ex Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, has continued his argument that Britain is being ‘bullied’ by the EU into a ‘backstop’ arrangement which sees the UK bound by the terms of an agreement which leaves the country subservient to rules imposed by Brussels with regard to trade, with no ability to exit the arrangement. Mr Raab’s critics have pointed out his ‘jumping ship’ and recent confession that he ‘hadn't quite understood’ the situation regarding trade with the EU via the Dover border point makes him ill qualified to influence the discussion and indicates more a desire to further his career.

Photo: Peter Ward at UKWA headquarters.