Brexit Could Endanger Materials Handling Industry
Paul Casebourne, a leading expert in materials handling, has warned of the impact of Brexit on the industry. He runs the Materials Handling Hub and believes that the industry has been forgotten as one of the potential casualties of the UK leaving Europe. He claims the industry is already suffering as a result of the uncertainty about the country’s relationship with the EU.
The materials handling industry currently accounts for some of the biggest imports and exports in the UK, with machinery and vehicles accounting for a combined worth of £55 billions.
“The UK currently benefits from the free movement of goods within the EU. This means imports from other EU member states have no import duties, taxes or customs clearance,” he said.
“More to the point the harmonisation of engineering standards requires representations if we are to keep up with international projects. We currently have EU rights to be included in tenders within the EU, I have heard of no plans to make up ground in this respect. Forty years of work in the balance and not a word of comfort from the political structure,” Paul continued.
The expert also expressed his concern on the situation in the UK around export and import duties.
“Following Brexit, the UK will be back to custom clearing its EU imports as well as paying taxes and import duties on them and it’s possible that some goods will require an import license after Brexit,” he said.
Although many industries have expressed their concern about what Brexit means now nobody seems to have looked at the impact this will have on the materials handling industry.
Mr Casebourne, who has worked in the industry for more than 40 years and supplies equipment to a range of industries and also creates bespoke solutions, added that “we’ve already seen a number of big projects put on hold and people are reluctant to invest in new equipment.”
“The whole situation really is intolerable at the moment while we are neither in or out. The UK has launched itself headlong into a 20-year project with no plan B, in fact without any plans at all whilst still handcuffed to the EU, powerless to put the plans in place that we need to get on with investing in our future,” he concluded.