Robert Keen Admits BIFA Is In The Dark On Brexit


This month we’ve heard from Robert Keen, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), about Brexit and it seems one of the UK’s leading industry associations is as much in the dark as Joe Public.

Keen was quick to point out the lack of information about possible Brexit implications in his address at the 3-day Multimodal 2017 event in Birmingham. It further underlines Leave voters’ hopes rather than expectations and that a break from the EU is fraught with uncertainty.

Keen pointed out numerous so-called facts and figures regarding the UK’s break from the EU but surmised the details are still scratchy. Indeed, despite working closely with Government to represent, promote and develop BIFA members’ interests, the organisation was similarly in the dark about the prospects of a Britain sans the European Union.

We, like most people, have heard all sorts of facts and figures, but really we don’t know any more than we did on June 23, said Keen. “We have tried not to speculate too much as we don’t know very much.

Keen admitted BIFA remains in frequent discussions with Government over the implications of Brexit but had yet to learn definitive answers on pertinent questions. BIFA, which is a member of the JCCC, the body which looks after customs legislation in the UK, said that it was important that the UK’s border remains as frictionless as possible, maintaining seamless port operations, and not throwing away 40 years of work to align systems with the rest of Europe.

For example, the Single Transit Contract remains a hot topic. The sector would like to retain it so that, for instance, a consignment from London to New York via Paris, London would remain the port of EU export.

As with everything else I’ve written about Brexit over the last few months – we sit, we wait, we wonder.

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