• Logistics industry says ‘too late’ to avoid Brexit disruption – With Westminster convulsed by arguments over the future of the UK’s borders the logistics industry hit out at ministers and officials for having no plan for how their operations are supposed to function in the future. The Freight Transport Association said the industry’s frustration with the lack of progress is building daily as logistics companies were unable to price for the period after March 2019 or answer basic questions from customers. For example, there was no guarantee that UK haulage companies would be able to continue employing the 43,000 truck drivers in Britain that are nationals of another EU member state. There had also been no progress in the UK seeking an agreement with the EU to allow UK truckers’ driving licences to be recognised in the EU. (The FT)
  • No-deal Brexit could cost business £20bn – Jon Thompson, the chief executive of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, told MPs that crashing out of the EU without a deal would be similar in costs to the £17bn – 20bn price tag of the “max-fac” border arrangements preferred by Brexiters, which would require customs declarations for all imports and exports. Thompson told the Treasury select committee on Tuesday that the number of customs declarations would increase four-fold, from 55m a year to 205m a year. (The Guardian)
  • Labour suggests softer approach to Brexit – Ahead of a series of major votes in the House of Commons next Tuesday, Labour has proposed an amendment to the withdrawal bill, calling on ministers to negotiate a new “single-market deal” to protect jobs and ensure that the UK has full access to the EU’s internal market, with no new impediments to trade and common rights, standards and protections as a minimum. While the announcement was regarded as “a significant move” by John Kerr, the crossbench peer who has helped lead calls for the UK to stay in the customs union, others had also described it as a messy compromise and believed instead that the party’s leadership should commit to full single-market membership via participation in the EEA. (The FT)