Platten: Physical customs border a ‘nightmare scenario' for post-Brexit UK shipping
The introduction of physical customs checks following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union would be a “catastrophe” for ports and trade volumes in the UK, according to Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping.
The head of the United Kingdom’s Chamber of Shipping is warning lawmakers about potential negative effects on area ports and trade volumes following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, commonly referred to as “Brexit.”
Specifically, the introduction of a post-Brexit physical customs border would be a “nightmare scenario,” Guy Platten, chief executive officer of the UK trade body, said at a media briefing last week. "It would be absolutely a catastrophe for the ports and for our sector.
“You've suddenly got lorries stacked up, you've got sailings canceled...the whole supply chain is completely affected,” he said.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said she aims to create a “frictionless” customs arrangement with the EU in order to continue to facilitate trade, but some analysts and industry organizations expect a less-than-seamless transition.
“I think the UK government gets it, but I am not so sure other countries do,” Platten told reporters. “It is a massive problem that we need to get solved. It is in the political gift to have a frictionless or not have a frictionless border. It is a human construct.”
Platten pointed to the long processing times for non-EU trucks entering the UK, noting that if the EU trucks face the same customs checks following Brexit, those delays will have ripple effects throughout the entire supply chain.
“It can take up to an hour for a truck now, multiply that by 8,000 a day (the number of lorries on a slow day) and you can see what happens,” he said. “It is going to be an absolute disaster for the ports and for our sector as well.”
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