What will Article 50 mean for UK logistics?

Europe

Article 50 is the name given to the technical process of leaving the EU. None of us in the UK are sure yet exactly when that will happen; all we know is that it’s coming.

Prior to the Brexit referendum there were plenty of doomsayers on both sides of the fence. Perhaps the main concern from a financial point of view was the potential for a new recession brought about by the decision to leave, but other issues could more directly affect UK manufacturing (and therefore distribution) such as reduced international trade, currency fluctuations and supply of labour.

Four stages of uncertainty

We all know that what financiers really trade in is certainty. If things are predictable, they’re safe. And if they’re safe, it’s okay to put money into them.

However, in terms of economic certainty with Brexit this is a four-stage affair:

 

1 – there was the uncertainty caused by the impending vote

2 – there’s the (now steadying) uncertainty that arose immediately after the ‘Leave’ result

3 – then there’s the uncertainty leading up to the enactment of Article 50; when will it happen, what trade agreements will be in place etc

4 – lastly there will doubtless be a period of uncertainty following the UK actually being separated from the EU, in terms of turning all this talk into tangible reality.

 

Right now we’re at stage 3, which feels a little like the eye of a storm: past the tumultuous decision-making and waiting for the consequences of that decision to actually hit.

Maybe we should all enjoy a sigh of relief.

 

Time to look ahead

Prior to the election many were predicting bleak times for the UK logistics industry, with a major survey showing half of the country’s major players were expecting a ‘Leave’ vote to damage our industry.

But for the UK economy things are actually looking relatively stable – it appears as if the threatened recession will not emerge, and UK manufacturing is now on the up again.

But if there’s one thing we’re good at in the UK, it’s bouncing back. Alan R Jones is itself a resilient and robust business – we made sure our business plans were ready no matter what the outcome of the vote, and we’re ensuring that all those South Wales companies moving goods around will still have a top-tier palletised distribution firm they can rely on just a phone call away.

Whatever the future brings to UK haulage – be it tighter border controls slowing down delivery schedules, restrictions on EU citizens as UK drivers or even less international trade with Europe full stop – Alan R Jones will ensure that none of its customers suffers a drop in service level or the extra-mile helpfulness for which we’re known.

 

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