Britain’s embattled logistics industry calls for Brexit to be delayed

A general view of vehicles driving on the M1 motorway near Hendon, north London, as spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will continue in London, UK on March 24, 2020. REUTERS / John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK logistics industry is calling on the government to postpone leaving the European Union as it cannot prepare for Brexit as it struggles to bring food and health care into the country during the coronavirus pandemic .

The free trade agreement, which represents members from the road, rail, maritime and aviation industries, urged the government to urgently request an extension of the transition period before the planned departure date at the end of the year.

"This is not about the relative merits of Brexit or trade agreements that our industry needs to make," said Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at FTA.

“Logistics faces unprecedented challenges, both in terms of supplying the UK economy with all the goods it needs to function, as well as the increasing disruption in staffing due to illness and self-isolation, and concerns about the viability of their businesses. "

British shoppers exposed many supermarket shelves last week when a lock loomed, increasing the pressure on the logistics industry to replenish its stocks at a time when borders are closing across Europe.

Coronavirus deaths in the UK rose 87 on Tuesday to a total of 422 – the largest daily increase since the onset of the crisis.

Reporting by Kate Holton, editor of Estelle Shirbon

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