UK Government triggers EU Article 50: BMF comment
Responding to today’s Article 50 announcement, the BMF has urged
Theresa May and David Davis to negotiate a mutually-beneficial new
customs agreement based on zero or low tariffs.
The BMF is concerned that leaving the Customs Union without a
comprehensive UK-EU free trade agreement will unsettle business
confidence and planned investments, with severe consequences for the
building materials’ supply chain.
More should be done to prepare for the possibility of no deal with the
EU - and the unwanted extra bureaucratic and financial burdens that will
arise from that, says the BMF.
John Newcomb, Managing Director of the BMF, commented: “Builders
merchants already face significant material price rises due to currency
fluctuations and worry that proper consideration is not being given to
other obstacles that hamper trade”.
“Ministers ought to be looking at whether HMRC and other agencies have
sufficient resources to deal with millions more customs’ declarations
that will be necessary. If border inspections at ports are not properly
resourced, consignments will be stuck on the quayside causing
unnecessary backlogs and delays in fulfilling customer orders”.
Last month, the Swedish National Board of Trade said that all Brexit
scenarios will mean increased business costs as administrative
requirements and controls are applied. Sweden is the UK’s most
significant timber trading partner so any forecast of more expensive and
difficult trading arrangements will have significant implications for
importers and merchants.