Government’s no-deal Brexit advice papers ‘are the equivalent of “duck and cover” nuclear warnings’ says EU shipping expert

The parcel delivery expert ParcelHero says the Government’s Technical Notices’ advising what steps organisations and individuals should take in the event of a no-deal Brexit take are as reassuring as the 1980 Protect and Survive booklet, outlining how to survive a nuclear attack by sheltering under a table.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says: ‘If the Government thought its first batch of 25 documents advising businesses and individuals how to plan for the event of us leaving the EU without a deal would reassure people, they are mistaken.’

Explains David: ‘The advice that people and businesses shipping items to the EU should ‘Engage the services of a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider to help, or alternatively secure the appropriate software and authorisations.’ is reminiscent of Government advice to ‘Use tables if they are large enough to provide you all with shelter’ from 1980’s Protect and Survive government booklet.’

Says David: The European Commission recently warned increased border controls will mean transport between the UK and EU will be “severely impacted”, with the possibility of “significant delays”. The technical Notice’s assertion that the Government will have stockpiled six weeks’ worth of medical supplies to cope with border disruption simply creates more worries than it calms. If that’s the level of delays anticipated for urgent medicines, what will the situation be like for normal goods? If individuals and SMEs are simply planning to send a parcel to the EU, or expecting a parcel collection from the Continent, we can get a picture of the real delays anticipated.’

The Brexit secretary introduced the new Technical Notices by saying: ‘There are risks here, but let’s not have the risks blown out of proportion.’ But David responds: ‘Quite frankly the Technical Paper on Trade’s advice that businesses should “if necessary, put steps in place to renegotiate commercial terms to reflect any changes in customs and excise procedures, and any tariffs that may apply to UK-EU trade’ is the equivalent of Protect and Survive’ s introduction saying: ‘The dangers which you and your family will face in this situation can be reduced if you do as this booklet describes.’

Concludes David: ‘Just like with the threat of a nuclear attack, we very much hope that a no-deal Brexit is a worst-case scenario never actually happens. Anyone planning to use a parcel courier to ship to the EU in the future must trust that the threat of a hard Brexit never actually comes true – because British exporters know ducking under a table won’t help them survive the extra duties, red tape and delays on their exports to the EU.’