The Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF) has urged Prime Minister Theresa May and Brexit Secretary David Davis to negotiate a mutually-beneficial new customs agreement based on zero or low tariffs.
Responding to the triggering of Article 50 last Wednesday, 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, warns the BMF.
John Newcomb, managing director, said: “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 HM Revenue and Customs 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.”