The May 7 general election in the U.K., could bring a change in leadership. The country’s freight forwarders are urging whoever becomes the new Prime Minister not to overlook the vital role that international trade plays in the British economy.
British International Freight Association (BIFA) Director General Robert Keen said that whatever shape or form the new government takes, it should make import-export traffic issues a high priority.
In an official BIFA statement, Keen called for the new government to address issues that impact the global supply chain, such as security, customs, EU legislation and international trade treaties. “There must be greater focus on the value of freight transport and logistics in Westminster, and government must help our members to develop more effective ways to manage international supply chains,” Keen said.
He said the new government has some important freight transport and international trading issues to consider, one of which is the state of the road infrastructure across the U.K. Keen said congestion needs to be planned out better for all modes of U.K. transport.
“UK ports and harbors require strong support and strategic thinking,” he said. “There needs to be continued initiatives to boost exports as was included in the final budget of the previous administration.”
From a transport perspective, perhaps the most important issue for the new government to address is airport capacity, Keen said. It is his hope that, after the election, the evidence presented will be enough to get a cross-party consensus, and politicians will give the green light and adopt the Airports Commission’s recommendations to start on a much-overdue expansion of U.K. aviation hub capacity.
“BIFA is resolutely apolitical and favors no party in government, but we do urge everyone involved in the corridors of power in Westminster, after the results of the next election are known, to ensure that those involved in the facilitation of international trade are at the forefront of government thinking and policy,” Keen said.