cloudy.png
Thursday April 15th, 2021 8:01AM

Freight firms warn of Brexit disruption amid UK-EU deadlock

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — British freight haulers and storage companies are demanding an urgent meeting with government leaders because of concern that gaps in preparations for Brexit may threaten supplies of critical goods.

Trade associations representing the companies wrote to Michael Gove, the minister overseeing Britain’s exit from the European Union, saying that improvements to border posts and computer systems are behind schedule.

Most of Britain’s food comes from the EU, much of it on trucks through the Channel port of Dover, and the freight industry is warning there could be major logjams when customs checks and other procedures have to be imposed on Jan. 1.

The groups say that if the issues aren't addressed, "U.K. business and the supply chain that we all rely so heavily on will be severely disrupted.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Friday he was confident goods would keep flowing. The British government is investing millions in new IT systems and border facilities and recruiting thousands of customs staff to deal with the new arrangements.

More than 40 years of seamless trade with the EU will end Jan. 1 after an 11-month transition period that followed Britain’s formal departure from the bloc earlier this year.

The U.K. will leave the bloc's single market and customs union, and it's unclear whether there will be tariffs and other obstacles to trade. The two sides hope to strike a free-trade deal, but negotiations are deadlocked with just months to go.

The trade groups, including the U.K. Warehousing Association, Logistics UK and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, said the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a supply chain that works properly.

“With transition occurring at the same time as a potential second COVID spike, it is critical we ensure the supply chain is protected,’’ they said.

EU and British negotiators are due to meet in London on Monday for a crucial week of talks — their eighth round in negotiations that have made little progress. The EU says a deal has to be struck before November to allow time for parliamentary approval and legal vetting before the transition period expires at year’s end.

But the talks are deadlocked over fishing rights and rules for state aid to businesses. The EU is insisting on a “level-playing field” for companies, so British firms can’t undercut the bloc's environmental or workplace standards, or pump public money into U.K. industries.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said this week that he was “worried and disappointed” by the lack of progress.

“So far the U.K. has not, frankly speaking, engaged constructively,” Barnier told an event hosted by an Irish think tank. “The U.K. is still looking to keep the benefits of the EU and the single market without the obligations.”

Britain accuses the bloc of making demands that it has not imposed on other countries it has free trade deals with, such as Canada, and is also vexed by EU demands for long-term access to British fishing waters.

Supporters of Brexit say leaving the EU’s single market for goods and services will let Britain strike new trade deals around the world. Talks are underway with major countries including the U.S. — which have made slow progress — and Japan.

Most economists say new trade deals are unlikely to make up for the economic hit of erecting barriers with the EU, which accounts for almost half of Britain’s trade.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Federal task force kills Portland shooting suspect at arrest
A man suspected of fatally shooting a supporter of a right-wing group in Portland, Oregon, last week was killed late Thursday as a federal fugitive task force tried to arrest him
7:26AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Freight firms warn of Brexit disruption amid UK-EU deadlock
British freight haulers and storage companies are asking for an urgent meeting with government leaders because of concern that gaps in preparations for Brexit may threaten supplies of critical goods
7:22AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Madrid struggles with Europe's acutest 2nd wave of pandemic
Madrid is further restricting family reunions and social gatherings to curb a sharp spike in confirmed coronavirus cases as schools are set to reopen
6:58AM ( 59 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Hungary registers highest daily spike with 459
Hungary has registered 459 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic
5:58AM ( 1 hour ago )
UN experts raise concerns over Hong Kong security law
Seven human rights experts affiliated with the U.N. are raising concerns over Hong Kong’s new national security law in a letter addressed to Chinese authorities, saying the legislation limits certain fundamental freedoms
5:45AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Frances closes 22 schools due to infections
France has closed 22 of its 62,000 schools since in-person classes resumed this week because of virus infections
4:23AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
The Latest: Madrid expands restrictions to indoor gatherings
The Madrid regional government is further restricting family reunions and social gatherings to curb a sharp spike in coronavirus cases just as schools are set to reopen
6:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
World shares mixed after sell-off on Wall Street
European shares have opened higher and U.S. futures bounced back after a day of losses in Asia
5:14AM ( 2 hours ago )
From Venice, a plea to reopen movie theaters shut by virus
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar has joined a chorus of voices at the Venice Film Festival urging the reopening of movie theaters after coronavirus lockdowns
5:12AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Fraud concerns over California's unemployment benefits
Concerns are growing about possible fraud at California’s unemployment agency
9:33PM ( 10 hours ago )
Leaders of Kosovo, Serbia at White House for economic talks
The U.S. has completed the first of two days of talks aimed at normalizing economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo where tensions remain high over thorny political issues
5:48PM ( 14 hours ago )
US trade deficit surges in July to highest in 12 years
The U.S. trade deficit surged in July to $63.6 billion, the highest level in 12 years, as imports jumped by a record amount
5:46PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Federal task force kills Portland shooting suspect at arrest
A man suspected of fatally shooting a supporter of a right-wing group in Portland, Oregon, last week was killed late Thursday as a federal fugitive task force tried to arrest him
7:26AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Madrid struggles with Europe's acutest 2nd wave of pandemic
Madrid is further restricting family reunions and social gatherings to curb a sharp spike in confirmed coronavirus cases as schools are set to reopen
6:58AM ( 59 minutes ago )
Waiting for Messi, Barcelona still reeling after 8-2 loss
Barcelona is still mired in crisis and surrounded by uncertainty over the future of Lionel Messi three weeks after the humiliating loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals
6:56AM ( 1 hour ago )
Greek FM heads to UN amid tense standoff with Turkey
Greece’s foreign minister is heading to New York for talks with the United Nations secretary-general as tensions between Greece and Turkey escalate over maritime boundaries and energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean
6:40AM ( 1 hour ago )
Search for survivor in Beirut rubble grips grieving nation
Rescue workers have resumed search operations in the rubble of a building that collapsed last month in Beirut’s deadly blast hoping to find a survivor under the debris after a pulsing signal was detected
6:30AM ( 1 hour ago )