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Business group Logistics UK has once again warned of the potential economic impact of a No Deal Brexit. In a letter published in the Sunday Times yesterday, Logistics UK CEO David Wells said the lack of a deal would lead to reduced EU lorry permits and significant inflation.

Wells’ letter spells out how the cost of moving goods will increase, with tariffs also raising prices:
“Everyday household items we import will become more expensive under World Trade Organisation tariffs,” writes Mr Wells, “some by 30% or more. This will make the household shopping basket much more expensive, particularly in the early part of 2021 when we rely on imports for much of our fresh food. “The actual cost of moving goods will also increase,” he continues, “if new vehicles, parts and tyres are also subject to tariffs. This is more than ‘turbulence’, as suggested by Mr Gove last week, and logistics businesses, operating on 2% margins, cannot afford to take on these costs.”
In the letter, Logistics UK also warn that another concern for logistics operators will be obtaining access to the EU market. As Wells points out, should a deal not be struck, UK logistics operators would have a restricted number of EU lorry permits available to them:

“The permit quota available to UK operators will fall short by a factor of four, putting businesses at risk right across the country. We are urging government to keep pressing for a deal with Brussels, to protect not only our industry but the economy as a whole.”

The comments from Logistics UK have of course been repeated by other organisations on multiple occasions. To this date, there is little evidence of such letters having a bearing on UK government policy – no matter how grave the warnings are.

Will Logistics UK’s predictions prove to be correct? We may be just a few months away from finding out.


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