JOINT INDUSTRY STATEMENT
The United Kingdom and the EU27 must keep goods and parcels flowing efficiently
Cross-border retail has been exponentially growing in Europe in the last decade. The development of ecommerce through parcel delivery has significantly contributed to this growing, commercial trade channel. Brexit threatens the current growth and consumer driven demand. A hard Brexit will lead to a serious disruption of cross-border retail, e-commerce and related trade flows.
The undersigned industry representatives and companies urge EU Member States and the UK Government to keep goods and parcels flowing across the UK-EU borders. As seen in the previous years, e-commerce turnover in the United Kingdom is significantly higher than in all other European countries , and of course a crucial element in terms of retail and trade with the EU27 Countries. A no-deal Brexit would result in serious bottlenecks in the flow of goods and parcels between the UK and EU.
An agreement which would ensure a smooth and fast flow of goods and parcels between the UK and the EU once the UK leaves the European Union is of critical importance, in order to avoid chaos at border crossings. In case of a no-deal, European and UK SMEs and consumers will ultimately carry the economic burden of the no-deal scenario.
It is therefore crucial for UK and EU policymakers to ensure the swift adoption of a Withdrawal Agreement, in order to put an end to the growing uncertainty among businesses in the online retail business. Serious concerns require immediate solutions until a Free Trade Agreement will be reached. For instance, an agreement for road and air transport, customs simplifications and mutual recognition on security requirements must be ensured in order to avoid important bottlenecks.
The undersigned industry representatives and companies count on EU and UK leaders to ensure that businesses will be granted legal certainty and that goods and parcels will keep flowing efficiently between the EU and the UK even after March 2019 and the end of the transition period. The negotiation of the future Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the UK will have to safeguard cross-border retail in such a way that operates as much as possible under the same conditions as within the Single Market.
We believe that this is a common and pressing problem and it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that the UK and the EU economies will suffer as little damage as possible because of Brexit.