The Conservative Party’s overwhelming victory in last December’s General Election will finally break the Parliamentary gridlock that has frustrated the business community for over three years and the return of a high degree of political certainty is bound to be good for investment.

Indeed, there are already clear signs that the economic climate has been boosted by the result, and we expect a greater degree of confidence within our membership to emerge in the new year as the uncertainty about the UK’s withdrawal from Europe falls away.

With the passing of the Withdrawal Agreement our exit from the EU is likely to be confirmed by the end of January. However, as UKWA has said consistently, while securing a Withdrawal Agreement that is acceptable both to the EU and the UK Parliament is an important milestone in the Brexit process, there is plenty of hard work still to be done before we ‘get Brexit done’.

The nature of Britain’s future relationship with the EU has yet to be defined and the Prime Minister’s pre-election pledge that the Brexit Transition Period will not be extended beyond December 2020 means that the risk of leaving the EU on WTO terms – with the interruptions to supply chains that such a scenario will bring – is still with us.

UKWA remains committed to supporting the Government in shaping practical solutions to the issues that lie ahead, but no one should underestimate the scale of the task that remains before us.

Clearly Brexit planning should now be at the top of the agenda for all those companies who trade with the EU and it is essential that businesses take all possible steps to mitigate the effects of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU on their day-to-day activities. UKWA will continue to keep its members informed of legislative changes and the support provided by HMRC and other governmental departments and we will continue to work alongside the Government – offering insights from the ‘frontline’ and providing a voice for our industry.

Brexit will no doubt be on the agenda when an influential programme of insightful speakers addresses delegates at UKWA’s 2020 National Conference, which takes place at the Hallmark Queen Hotel, Chester, on 3-4 March 2020.

With the theme ‘Next Generation Logistics,’ the two-day event will deliver an excellent opportunity to hear thought leaders, learn about emerging technologies and network with other senior professionals from the 3PL community alongside leading logistics users within the UK’s manufacturing, retail, automotive and aviation sectors.

‘Next Generation Logistics’ not only refers to the young people who will increasingly rely on the efficiency of supply chains for all aspects of their lives, but is also an acknowledgement of the fact that, as an industry, logistics is entering a new era.

And, with a full schedule of influential speakers, keynotes, discussion panels, networking opportunities and more, all those who attend 2020’s UKWA conference can expect to take away something that will prove invaluable as they strive to guide their businesses through these fast evolving times. I thoroughly recommend that anyone involved in warehousing, logistics or supply chain planning clears space in their diary to be part of this essential event.

Peter Ward

UKWA, CEO