Europa boss gives evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on EU customs clearance post Brexit

Europa boss gives evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on EU customs clearance post Brexit

MD of leading logistics business Europa Worldwide, Andrew Baxter, was invited to give evidence at a special meeting of the Home Affairs Select Committee this week about the impact on his sector of the UK leaving the customs union.

Discussing the topic in what Andrew described as a ‘dynamic conversation’ with the panel of MPs and other industry experts, he emphasised how the government has a huge job on its hands in minimising the impact of reintroducing customs clearance when the UK leaves the EU.

Andrew said: “It was really interesting to take part in the debate held by the Home Affairs Select Committee and put forward my views on how the government should gear up for this major change in customs processes post Brexit.

“The reintroduction of customs clearance will increase transit times on some shipments and will increase costs to importers and exporters, so I believe it is vital that the government sets up a working group straight away which will look at how to slicken the process and minimise delays at the border. This group should be made up of industry experts and customs officials and should start to tackle the issue immediately, so that we are prepared for the changes when they happen.

“Some of the MPs assumed that due to the nature of my industry and my business’s close ties with European partners, I would be against leaving the EU. My stance is in fact quite the opposite! I’m an ardent supporter of the UK leaving the EU because I believe Britain should be a free, governing country with control over its own laws and potential for growth – but we need to make sensible and considered decisions now in order to best manage the changes which are inevitably involved with extricating ourselves from the EU, particularly in relation to customs clearance.”

Andrew gave evidence to the committee alongside James Hookham of the Freight Transport Association, Jack Semple of the Road Haulage Association and Graeme Charnock of Peel Ports.

Europa Worldwide Group employs 600 people across 11 sites in the UK plus Hong Kong and is represented in 100 countries.

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