FTA and Unite respond to Operation Yellowhammer

Having worked closely with government over the past three years ‘to develop new trading processes for the UK’s businesses to use after Brexit’, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) reported that the Yellowhammer document showed that ‘there is still much that could go wrong and still much that has to be done to keep Britain trading effectively’.

Many of the details may seem trivial but are actually crucial to the successful protection and continuation of the UK’s supply chain, and industry needs key decisions to be made urgently to keep imports and exports moving efficiently. 

‘We are still very concerned by the risk that fuel supplies could be impacted, considering this would affect the movement of goods both domestically and internationally – at no point in the past three years of negotiations has any indication of this nature been made to us or our 18,000 members by government.’

See Operation Yellowhammer document here.

Unite the Union’s alarm has grown after the publication of the Operation Yellowhammer document with the union accusing the government of suppressing vital information on the future supply of petrol in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Unite is concerned about the future of all six UK oil and chemical refineries due to the government’s plans to introduce zero tariffs on European Union petroleum products in the event of a no deal Brexit, while tariffs would apply to UK exports.

By destroying the level playing field and with the fact that most UK refineries are owned by companies based abroad, Unite fears that all the UK’s refineries will suffer from a lack of investment at best and complete closure at worst.

Allowing cheap imports of petrol and other products into the UK, would in the long-term lead to an increase in costs and major strategic problems about the security of a supply, with the UK becoming entirely reliant on foreign refineries.

Unite has been working in parallel with the United Kingdom Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) and the wider industry about these concerns but the government has not engaged with the sector’s fears.

“This is a crucial matter for everyone in the UK and yet when the industry tries to speak to the government it is failing to engage,” said Unite national officer Tony Devlin.

“Once again the government is flailing about, proposing to bring in troops to drive tankers which is entirely unnecessary but is not prepared to act to preserve the UK’s oil refineries, which are of crucial importance.”

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