Following the rejection of Theresa May’s Brexit plan by the House of Commons, the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has expressed its disappointment at the continued lack of clarity surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU.
Peter Ward, CEO of the Association, whose members operate around 100 million square feet of warehousing and distribution centre space from some 2000 locations across the UK, commented: “Frustratingly, as imperfect and unpopular as Mrs May’s deal proved to be, it was the only evident mechanism to provide the business community with a level of clarity and certainty and, had it been passed, a road map around which to plan.”
For the past 18 months UKWA has been advising its members to prepare for an upsurge in demand for warehousing, whatever the final outcome of Brexit, also pointing out that Brexit has exposed a number of challenges facing the logistics sector – including shortage of capacity after a long period during which little speculative development of storage buildings took place, a looming labour and skills shortage, and a land use planning policy in need of review.
Peter Ward added: “I am in no doubt that our resilient and creative logistics industry will, as always, find solutions to whatever problems are thrown up by the UK’s exit from the EU. However, it would help to know what form those challenges are likely to take, but, as things stand, the outlook is confused and we urge businesses to prepare for the worst, which is a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
“As the leading trade association for the logistics sector we are there to help businesses to prepare and ensure that the nation’s post-Brexit supply chains do not break down. Simultaneously, along with most business leaders, we urge MPs to put aside dogmatic and entrenched positions, abandon political jockeying, and put the future of our economy – and our country – first.”