Brexit is only just a few short weeks away and with Parliament in suspension (at time of going to Press) still no one knows for sure how it is all going to end; we may even have a snap General Election to add to the growing uncertainty, but not perhaps before a ‘no deal’ exit. You just couldn’t make it up!
In the meantime, the Road Haulage Association is continuing to push Westminster and Whitehall for the answers the industry urgently needs, and the Freight Transport Association says the time has come for government to put the politics of Brexit to one side, come clean with industry, and share its full impact assessment for a No Deal departure from the EU. Time, says the FTA, is running out to protect the UK’s supply chain, both at home and overseas, which could have dire consequences for the economy.
Close to home is the controversy over the so-called Irish backstop. With over 13,500 vehicles crossing the border every day, there is an urgent need for clarity over how goods and services will be moved after the Prime Minister’s October 31st deadline.
But whatever the final outcome, the day to day business of the transport and logistics sectors has to be carried on, and we have no doubt that the industry will be up for the challenges ahead because that’s how resilient it has always been when confronted with a crisis.
So, what have we got for you in this issue? We’ve been to Madrid in Spain to see the launch of IVECO’s new S-WAY which focuses on the driver, on sustainability and on an advanced level of connectivity. We’ve also been to Sweden to compare the performance of a Volvo FH with its new state-of-the-art engine featuring a fuel efficient I-Save package against a similar truck without it. And we have managed to get behind the wheel of what has been described as the toughest and most high-performing version ever of Europe’s best-selling pick-up, the new Ford Ranger Raptor, which has finally reached these shores.
Meanwhile, a big welcome is due to John Martin who has penned his first regular article for Export & Freight after recently taking up a post with the Road Haulage Association as their Policy Manager for Northern Ireland. Given his background and breadth of experience in the transport industry he is well placed to take the RHA forward within NI and strongly represent the views of its members to government departments and other agencies.
Our annual Export & Freight Transport & Logistics Awards ceremony has just taken place; if you weren’t among the 600 plus guests there you probably don’t know who won what, but rest assured all will be revealed in our next issue, so don’t miss it!